“Due to unpredictable conditions on the quality and supply of tomato crops, we are unable to add tomatoes to our food. Rest assured, our tomatoes will be back soon. Till then, we request your patience and understanding,” the firm posted on its website’s support section. A company spokesperson did not respond to queries.
Burger King joins its peers McDonald’s and Subway, which had in the recent past made changes to their menu in India. While McDonald’s (largely outlets in North and East) had last month borne the brunt of the non-availability of high grade tomatoes by temporarily removing it from its burgers, Subway had replaced the cheese slices in its sandwiches with cheese sauce. Customers can still avail cheese slices but at an additional cost of Rs 30 per slice.
A Subway India spokesperson said the decision to introduce cheese sauce as the primary ‘cheesy ingredient’ – which will be made available to customers for free – has been taken to better customer experience. The spokesperson said that the measure was not dictated by high inflation. “The creamy, cheesy sauce is a product that is heat stable, keeps our subs moist and juicy and has great mouth feel. It has been developed for qualitative reasons alone,” the company said in a statement.
“In Pizza Hut, I would not like to say with certainty that the worst (on the gross margin side) is behind us because we are still experiencing input inflation. Once we have clear visibility on the cheese and milk prices, we will be able to talk with certainty,” Manish Dawar, CFO and director at Devyani International, which operates brands like Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee and KFC in India, said earlier.