Why Saravana Bhavan is smarter than Bata

ARVIND SWAMINATHAN wites from Madras: In a country where everybody marvels at the inherent cleverness of the rates of Bata shoe products (Rs 299.95, etc), it’s time somebody looked at the innovative pricing strategy of Saravana Bhavan, the vegetarian restaurant chain with 22 units in India and as many franchises in USA, UK, Canada, Australia, England and the Gulf.

On a recent visit, I noticed the following mystifying price-points:

Curd rice + pickles: Rs 28.75

Idiyappam + side dish: Rs 25.25

Sambaar vadai: Rs 31.75

Ghee dosai: Rs 28.75

Chole poori: Rs 40.75

Bata shoe rates may prevent the much higher and more daunting whole number from registering in the customer’s mind, but Saravana Bhavan manages to deal with the very Indian problem of “loose change” with panache. Because, plus VAT (value added tax), all the items mentioned above add up to a neat round figure that is easier to shell out.



  1. Very clever. I hope they use similar smarts to make decent dosas. The ones in Sunnyvale are horrible.

  2. Ananth Shenoy said

    The rates are +30-50% higher in Delhi and extra Chattni is chargeable.

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