New Delhi | Fast food chain Burger King has stopped using tomatoes in its food preparations, joining the list of other quick service restaurant (QSR) chains like McDonald's and Subway, amid soaring prices of the staple kitchen item.
Burger King, operated by Restaurant Brands Asia in the country with 400 stores, in a message on the support page of its website cited "quality" and "supply" issues as reasons for removing tomatoes from its food servings.
"We, at Restaurant Brands Asia Ltd, have very high standards of quality as we believe in serving real and authentic food. Due to unpredictable conditions on the quality & supply of tomato crops, we are unable to add tomatoes to our food. Rest assured, our tomatoes will be back soon," the message read.
It has requested customers to have "patience and understanding" for the situation.
Some Burger King India outlets have reportedly placed a notice with some humour, saying, "Even tomatoes need a vacation... we are unable to add tomatoes to our food."
QSR chains are facing disruptions in their supply chain due to soaring tomato prices and struggling to find quality products.
The retail price of tomato in some parts of the country is up to Rs 200 per kilogramme amid supply disruptions caused by heavy rains. This has forced the government to import tomatoes for the first time.
India is currently importing tomatoes from Nepal. Last week, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Parliament that India has started importing tomatoes from Nepal amid a record-high spike in the prices in the domestic market.
In July, fast food chain McDonald's had said it has stopped using tomatoes in its food preparations at most of the stores in northern and eastern parts of the country citing the non-availability of quality products.
"Due to seasonal crop issues arising out of farm fields in a few regions, there are not enough quantities meeting our quality specifications available. To ensure our customers get the best quality we are known to serve, we are constrained to hold tomatoes for the time being," a
McDonald's India - North and East spokesperson had said.
After that, Subway India also stopped using tomatoes to cope with the soaring prices in major cities.
As per the government data, all-India average wholesale price of tomatoes came down to Rs 88.22 per kg on August 15, when compared with Rs 97.56 per kg a month ago.
Similarly, all-India average retail price of tomatoes came down to Rs 107.87 per kg now from Rs 118.7 per kg a month ago, the data showed.
Meanwhile, the arrival of the fresh tomato crop in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh has started in wholesale mandis, cooling down the prices.