Why do fine dining restaurants charge so much?


Of late, I have seen people being rude about the rates of restaurants. People get annoyed when the quantity is less and the rates high. Add to that various taxes, it gets all the more annoying.
This leads to criticism and negativism. A lot of food bloggers (like me) further show their discomfort by giving a negative review. But, often what we fail to understand is the mechanism of these restaurants.
Let us understand the mechanism of rates today.
Firstly, let us gain some knowledge about the types of eating-places. There are different kinds of eating places- starting from a takeaway joint to ethnic, casual dining, fast food, family dining, barbecue, buffet, café, coffeehouse, tabletop cooking and pub etc. Not to forget, in India, we also have ‘thelas’, ‘street food’ and ‘dhabas’. All these places have different functioning.

Now, let us start with a fine dining place- they have beautiful interiors, highly paid English speaking staff including waiters, the finest quality of ingredients and best chefs in the country who present food like masterpieces on a plate. These places have a different sort of meal plan and rates. If you see the picture below, it has a very low quantity. But the thing is that there is an aesthetic appeal in this dish that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.


Now, when a place is giving you all the luxuries possible, there is a whole lot of chance that they would charge you accordingly, even though, they are earning a LOT of margin from this. But the thing is that this is how a fine dining restaurant usually works. They give you the best and hence, they charge the best as well.

Coming to takeaway outlets. Though most of these outlets have air conditioning and a little place to stand but at the end of the day you can enjoy the food only in your cars or at home or standing. So, comparing the difference of rates between a takeaway and a fine dining is totally absurd.
What is more absurd is, comparing the difference of rates of ‘dhabas’ and fine dining. A lot of people say ‘why should I pay so much for this dish when I can enjoy it at cheaper rates’. So, firstly, the rates are low because of the difference in quality, location, seating etc. I agree there are a lot of posh dhabas, the biggest example being the Garam Dharam dhaba in Chandigarh or Delhi, but they do charge accordingly.


Believe it or not, the variation of rates does depend upon the quality and location. You cannot expect a place where they have different departments for all cuisines, a well spoken staff and the best quality food to provide you food in the same rates like a street vendor would. The quantity thing is no doubt controversial, though some fine dining restaurants provide a good quantity but some of them still have to up their game.

In conclusion, who doesn’t love to eat good food at cheap prices? I know, I do. But really the prices just vary according to the place. Although, if these places still fail to provide you a delicious and palatable meal, then you have the full right to make snobby statements. Bon appetit!

-Jagriti Mahajan

Jagriti is a Chandigarh based food blogger, who has a beautiful feed by the name of Calories and Memories on Instagram. You may follow her here.

Edited by Mrinaal Datt

Read more about her here.


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