New Taipei City, bare minimum bento (small slice of meat, a single slice of sausage, half an egg, a hard tofu, some seaweed) is about 50-60nt. Better ones are up to 80. In Xinjhuan one with a chicken leg quarter is 90. I quite honestly do not know how these places make a profit because 100nt buys me 4 uncooked chicken leg quarter. If I’d do it I’d be charging at least 150 or even 200. Either restaurants are getting much better rates, or something funny is going on.
They’d have to make the entire bento box including chicken legs, any sauce and stuff, rice, vegetables, etc. for about 50nt to sell it at 90nt to generate enough profit to get by. Even if they’re buying tons of chicken leg quarters a day you’re talking about at least a 80% discount from the price I’m buying it at the traditional market for this to make sense.
Actually I heard there are wholesale markets, where traditional market stall guys go at like 5am to go get their stock to sell for the day. I’d imagine bento restaurants get their stocks from the same source, or at least have it delivered to them if their order is big enough (and I imagine they are selling them by the thousands per day).
But I’m not privy to how much they are paying for wholesale.
Your prices seem about spot on. the only thing to add is there is nothing funny going on. the supply for them is massive wholesale and very low quality food…hence the price. you are buying drugged and tortured animals (hugely immoral, enviro nmentally terrible and massively unhealthy to people. plus disease outbreaks…) heavily sprayed vegetables that are often causing massive water shortages and environmental carastophes, probably some near slavery type labor in there somewhere and more environmental damage based on shipping it around the world with massive energy taxing.
People that think they get “good” food for 80nt are delusional. And restaruants charging 200nt are also shit for quality, the price different is for atmosphere and theoretically higher overhead. anyone can go run the numbers, There is no magical formula. Cut corners, buy crap, make it look fancy. 99%of out body’s intake is like this. we should actually understand what we are buying more…its a bit frightening how hard we actively try to avoid discussing this reality…so much so i bet someone says i am condescendung or rude or whatever just mentioning this simple reality. All i can say is when your kidneys fail, you get canger, gout strikes up again, a pandemic happens and shuts down.industry etc etc…just realize this is why. Really not a mystery.
When I go buy food at the supermarket or traditional market, the food all come from the same place. Just that bento places buys them wholesale and cooks them while stall guys sell it to you raw, but it’s all the same tortured animal or badly sprayed vegetable products.
But I don’t see it working financially for any businesses to sell it at the price they are selling at unless they got the food at a 80% discount of the price I pay buying it at the stall.
However i think that, if eating like ahollywood celebrity means eating quality sustainable food (i assume that was your meaning with the example), should be the ultimate goal for everyone, even if we cannot all currently do so all the time. There is NO shame in a 1% improvement. There is absolute shame in giving.up and being lazy because “everyone does it”!
Everyone, everywhere, doing everything really hopefully works towards bettering their lives and those around them. I dont see that as a negative…
Yea prices like this makes me wonder the point of cooking any food except for frozen dumplings and ramen noodles. Because even with ramen I struggle to stay under the 60nt per meal mark, and I still have to do dishes and clean up and contend with mess, roaches, and rats. And that 90nt biandang comes with everything you need for a healthy meal.
Only really makes sense if you want to eat western style foods to cook at home. But even for stuff like steak it makes no sense to cook at home because you could have an order of steak, with sides and service, for the price of a single piece of low grade meat at Carrefour.