This is my 900th post.
In early 1990s, it was a treat just to go to McDonald’s restaurant for a meal. We did not go there often because it was pricey by our standards. Hawker food was a cheaper alternative for eating out.
Now, air-conditioned food courts are common around us, e.g. Kopitiam, Koufu, Food Junction, etc. Hawker-type food and international cuisines are brought into these food courts.
Cost of hawker-type food such as fishball noodle, fish soup rice, yong tau foo, had risen rapidly in recent years. A bowl of fishball noodle can be $3.50. If we add a tea-o to complete the meal, it can set us back $4.60. I do not have to comment on international cuisines. They are way higher.
On the other hand, fast food restaurants continue to compete among themselves to provide value meals for diners. I did a quick look at some fast food restaurants and check out some prices of their menu items:
McDonald’s Restaurant: $4.50 (everyday savers menu, inclusive of drink)
Subway Restaurant: $5.00 (daily special combo, inclusive of drink)
Long John Silver: $4.50 (Fish/crispy fries/coke)
Burger King: $3.95 (Flaming hot deal, inclusive of drink)
KFC: $5.00 (KFC Rice Weekly Specials, inclusive of drink)
Mos Burger: $5.65 (Fish Burger plus tea)
Therefore, fast food restaurants are offering cheaper meals compared to food court meals. It was a reversal from what I knew in the past. It appears that fast food restaurants held onto their prices despite inflation whereas food courts are upping their prices to cope with same cost-push inflation. How can that be?
Ok, we can eat hawker centre food, but some HDB coffee shop food prices are rising too. My point is, we have to choose carefully what we want to eat to stretch our dollar where rising cost of living is a fact of life now.
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