‘Exorbitant’ prices leave diners with bitter taste
February 08 2014 12:40 AM
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By Ramesh Mathew

Some eateries in the city have been accused of overcharging customers and flouting municipal guidelines.

Residents, particularly people who rely on these restaurants for their daily meals, complain that the eatery operators often fail to display the price list of items available there, which is a violation of the municipal guidelines, which insist on eateries to display rate charts and make menus available to customers.

The affected people, who are mostly single workers of different nationalities, also point out that many eateries are
overcharging customers.

“This is happening here because of the absence of a mechanism to regularly monitor the prices of food served at the local restaurants,” said a patron, who claimed to have questioned a restaurant manager over the “exorbitant prices” of food served at the eatery.

The resident said he had also noticed a big variation in the prices of similar food at different restaurants though they fell in the same category.

The customers, meanwhile, complain that many restaurant operators also manage to get away with “greater violations” such as workers handling food with bare hands while serving customers.

“Of late, one can see food items being made with bare hands at even those joints that serve Arabic food items such as shawarma and falafel,” said a resident.

Inquiries made over the past two days have revealed that though the municipal guidelines make it mandatory for restaurants to display price lists prominently, most of them were unable to do as “prices varied at intervals”.

When a customer sought an explanation on higher rates at a particular restaurant, the operator reportedly cited the high rent as the main reason for hiking prices at intervals.

Meanwhile, a long-time Doha resident recalled how municipal food inspectors “carried out their monitoring duties effectively” at least until a decade ago, when there were fewer
restaurants than now.

Reports of unlicensed grocery stores and eateries resuming their operations have also come in from some locations in the Industrial Area where there was a major crackdown on such illegal units and other establishments functioning from labour
accommodation.

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