India’s Burger King outlets take tomatoes off menu as prices soar
McDonald’s had said in July it was taking tomatoes off its menus as a temporary measure due to “seasonal issues”
A sandwich without the usual slices of tomatoes is pictured at a Burger King outlet in New Delhi on August 17, 2023. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP) (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Soaring vegetable prices after a bad harvest have prompted Burger King’s Indian outlets to take tomatoes off their menu items, following in the footsteps of other fast food giants.
“Even tomatoes need a vacation!” read a notice at an outlet in the capital New Delhi on Thursday.
“Due to unpredictable conditions on the quality and supply of tomato, we are unable to add tomatoes in our food… we are doing our best to get back tomatoes in our burgers.”
The burger franchise has operated across India since 2014, replacing its usual lineup of beef burgers with an assortment of chicken and vegetarian substitutes to accommodate Hindu objections to cattle slaughter.
It is the latest of several chains to stop serving the vegetable.
McDonald’s said in July it was taking tomatoes off its menus as a temporary measure due to “seasonal issues”, local media reported.
American sandwich chain Subway followed suit the same month, saying they were facing “quality issues”.
Last week, India’s central bank warned that higher food prices had impacted household budgets and were expected to get worse.
It added that tomato prices had soared after bad weather and pest attacks in major production belts.
Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government had removed import restrictions to source tomatoes from neighbouring Nepal to help ease pressure on food prices.