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Six Wowprime-affiliated restaurant chains to raise prices

TAIPEI -- Six restaurant and diner chains operated by Wowprime Corp., one of Taiwan's largest dining business operators, will raise prices from Jan. 31, with the increases ranging from 2.1 percent to 10.1 percent.

Jan. 31 is the first day of the Year of the Horse on the Chinese lunar calendar.

The price hikes were planned amid rising food and utility costs, Wowprime executives said Monday, confirming earlier media reports that prices at six of its 12 restaurant and diner chains will go up.

The prices of ingredients have increased significantly since 2009, the executives said, citing the example of beef short ribs, which have doubled in price over the past two years.

Under Wowprime's biggest price hike plan, the set menu at its flagship restaurant chain Wang Steak will cost an additional NT$50, which is a 3.8 percent increase from NT$1,300 per person.

The other five chains at which prices will be increased are Tasty steakhouse, the Japanese cuisine Tokiya, teppanyaki restaurant Chamoinx, the Hokkaido konbu hot pot chain Giguo, and 12 Hot Pot.

The steepest price hike will be at the 12 Hot Pot chain restaurants, where the minimum cost will rise 10.1 percent from NT$198 per person to NT$218.

Apart from the six chains, prices at Wowprime's other two restaurant chains, ikki and yuanshao, went up earlier this year by 2.6 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

President of the Taipei Restaurant Association Jimmy Chang criticized the move, saying it is “not justified.”

Wowprime Chairman Steve Day has often told the media that his company is enjoying good profits, Chang was quoted by a local newspaper as saying.

“If that's true, Day should not take the lead in raising prices,” Chang said.

Whenever a company records profits, it should reward its customers, he said.

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