GoKunming Forums

Western-run places in KM too expensive?

Napoleon (1187 posts) • 0

I think they're reasonably priced and for the large part serve some good stuff.
Considering the difficulty in acquiring / expense of some key ingredients I'm happy paying the current rates and believe them to be fair.

No problems my end with the current arrangement of things.

Its hardly Paris/London prices. I think you still get some value for money.

Except for pizza hut.

tigertiger - moderator (5096 posts) • +4

If you eat in Chinese owned places in similar market positions, the prices are comparable. This is true for coffee/cafe type places and a lot of restaurants (by the time you add up the extras). I am not talking of the cheapo places with one lightbulb, but places with comparable decor and location.

vicar (817 posts) • -4
Comment hidden by user downvote Click to expand

Duvel beer can be easily got for under 9 rmb each. That's just on Taobao. Probably cheaper from Chinese supplier in bulk.

Taking this one example into consideration I think that most expats would be very happy to see 'imported' (cough) drink prices dropped considerably. When its costing 100+ rmb for a couple of beers you enjoy, you think twice before purchase.

Alien (3819 posts) • -2

Unsurprisingly, customers like lower prices, but I'd hate to see staff salaries cut to bring them about. Sal's, for example, seems to me to be getting a bit expensive, but they apparently really treat their staff well, and of course in their location the rent must be pretty damn high. I have the impression that the Wicker Basket is also decent to their staff.

vicar (817 posts) • -2

Staff salaries have the potential to be raised by lowering prices on 'certain' products due to increased trade

redjon777 (560 posts) • +4

Wicker basket usually hires staff that may often find it harder getting work elsewhere due to problems they experience, also their prices are pretty low so no problem at all there.

Regarding majority of foreign run restaurants I always seem to think they're well priced for what they deliver.

You'll always get the odd few that are rip offs but same anywhere not just a Kunming issue.

Coming from London though I doubt I'll have an issue with to many comparatively price wise lol

Food wise would be the issue!

AlexKMG (2385 posts) • +3

I think prices are alright, and with specials can be an outright bargain. I'm usually not out of money after a night out in Kunming, where as in Beijing the 100rmb bills just fly out the wallet.

Tigertiger makes a good point that nice Chinese places to eat or drink cost the same or more. Personally, it's not the the price or quality but my expectation of Western level service once I am dining in a Western run place that usually leads to angst. I should remember I'm living in Kunming, but the nice layouts like Humdinger fool me into thinking I'm in SF somewhere.

voltaire (225 posts) • +2

Yes - I believe they are too expensive, but agree that this is echoed in local establishments.

Retail food prices in major Chinese cities are largely at western levels (or close, often higher), whereas standards of management, service, cleanliness, and choice have rarely kept pace.

Whereas you can have a white tablecloth dining experience in Chengdu, Shanghai, Shenzhen or Beijing, Kunming currently has zero (really, zero) options, but is happy to present many inferior places in the same price range.

I believe this situation is partly because of the following:

A) Macro-economic influences in the domestic economy, such as significant real inflation, rising wage expectations, lending, credit and the longer term trends in rising ingredient prices.

B) Cultural norms where very high food expense as a percentage of income is considered normal, where living in the moment is considered normal, and where dining is considered a group activity with 'face' elements.

C) A significant breakdown in multi-generational residential situations in preference to single generation residential situations, even bachelor apartments.

The hive mind 'go with the flow' mentality is fine until things break. I believe there will be a correction in the near future, because the situation is currently borderline ridiculous.

I mean, frankly, apartments are way cheaper and nicer in Bangkok (a place without Chinese visa issues), and many western meals are cheaper in Sydney (which is known to be an expensive western city). What does Kunming really have to offer to justify these prices? Not a great deal. A lack of adequate competition, perhaps.

If I were running a conventional food retail outlet right now, I would be worrying.

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