Amma canteens a hit with middle class too - The New Indian Express

Amma canteens a hit with middle class too

Published: 19th August 2013 07:45 AM

Last Updated: 19th August 2013 07:51 AM

That a number of hotels in the city are cutting prices on their menu, even in times of inflation, indicates that an important section of their clientele — the middle class — have taken to Amma Unavagams in a big way, especially due to the hygiene practised there, apart from good food at subsidised prices.

For Rajesh S, a bachelor and native of Madurai who lives in a hostel at Mambal­am, getting good food at low cost proved a constant headache until an Amma canteen ope­ned near Duraiswamy Subway a couple of months ago. Now, he does not fret about his food, as his needs have been met with. “My only problem is the serpentine queue at the canteens,” says Rajesh.

Sriram, an employee in an IT firm, says the hygienic food at low cost has made him a regular patron at the Amma Unavagam near his home in Mylapore. Industry sources say a shift in the mindset of the middle-class is having a direct impact on the market.

The manager of a popular restaurant in Triplicane, on condition of anonymity, told Express that Amma canteens have exposed the exorbitant rates charged by some restaurants. “For some items, hotels make a 100 per cent profit for each plate. With Amma canteens offering such low prices, the hotels would have to sacrifice on profits, if they are to compete,” he says, adding that smaller restaurants will feel the strongest pinch.

Almost all those from the restaurants who spoke to Express, say that more Amma canteens opening in the city would lead to more number of private eateries slashing prices.

“Once the penetration of these canteens grows, you are bound to see a big difference in prices,” said a restaurant manager.

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