Wowprime to raise prices on Jan. 31

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Dec 31, 2013 - Page 13

Six restaurant and diner chains operated by Wowprime Corp (王品) will raise their 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 lunar calendar.

The price increases have been planned amid rising food and utility costs, Wowprime executives said yesterday, confirming earlier reports that prices at six of its 12 restaurant and diner chains would be increased.

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 plan, the set menu at its flagship restaurant chain, Wang Steak (王品台塑牛排), 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 (西堤) steakhouse, Japanese outlet Tokiya (陶板屋), teppanyaki restaurant Chamoinx (夏慕尼), the Hokkaido konbu hot pot chain Giguo (聚) and 12 Sabu (石二鍋) outlets.

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

Prices at Wowprime’s other two restaurant chains, Ikki (藝奇) Japanese cuisine and Yuanshao BBQ (原燒), went up earlier this year by 2.6 percent and 5 percent respectively.

In related news, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Woody Duh (杜紫軍) said yesterday that the ministry does not have any plans to adjust electricity prices next year.

Fielding questions at a Legislative Yuan committee hearing in Taipei on whether domestic electricity prices are reasonable, Duh said prices have been consistently lower than generation costs.

“Nevertheless, the ministry has no plan to raise electricity prices in the coming year,” Duh told lawmakers.

Duh said the only variable that could affect domestic energy prices next year would be whether a renewable energy surcharge would be introduced.

Under the Statute For Renewable Energy Development (再生能源發展條例), state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) can collect a renewable energy surcharge to cover the spread between the price at which it purchases renewable energy and the selling price.

“The price differential is less than NT$0.1 per kilowatt hour, so Taipower has never collected a renewable energy surcharge, but the accumulated difference has been growing and we are evaluating whether to begin levying the surcharge next year and whether it would be retroactive,” Duh said.

He added that no decision has yet been reached.