Pedestrians walk past a burger joint in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Despite enjoying increased sales from the ongoing “lunchflation,” fast food joints in South Korea have been raising their burger prices, citing surging production costs amid lingering inflation fears.
Mom‘s Touch, a homegrown chicken chain, said Tuesday that it will raise the prices for 50 products by 200-400 won ($0.15-$0.31) starting Thursday. This is the second price hike by the burger joint this year alone.
Mom’s Touch explained that the decision was made “with a heavy heart to preserve the profitability of franchise stores amid rising poultry, flour and cooking oil prices.”
Meanwhile, other local burger franchises, including Lotteria, Burger King and KFC, have all recently implemented similar measures.
Lotteria was the first to introduce price hikes, charging customers 5.5 percent more on 81 of their menu items starting June. KFC followed a month later, raising its burger prices by 8.2 percent. Burger King bumped up the prices for 46 of its products by 4.5 percent on Friday, including its signature item, the Whopper.
All four fast food chains had already introduced a first round of price hikes between December and January.
McDonald‘s Korea is currently the only major burger joint not raising its prices in the second half of 2022. However, industry insiders speculate the franchise may introduce a hike soon.
Meanwhile, burger joints have been experiencing increased sales as the average price for eating out rises. Mcdonald’s Korea saw its second-quarter sales rise by 8.1 percent compared to the same period last year, while Mom‘s Touch posted a 23.3 percent increase in sales.
Consumer reactions to the price increase were mixed.
“It’s understandable that burger prices rise. Since prices are rising for everything nowadays, a few hundred won increase is probably not going to change my buying habits,” said 22-year old Choe Jung-woo.
Meanwhile, Kim Hyun-woo, a university student, had a more unwelcoming attitude. “It‘s not like the quality is getting better. I would rather eat something else for the same money,” said Kim.
By Lee Seung-ku (email@example.com