The cost of eating is expected to rise significantly amid moves by food providers to hike product prices, putting upward pressure on overall prices and stoking inflation.
According to the Korean Statistical Information Service(KOSIS) provided by Statistics Korea on Sunday, the index of the cost of dining out stood at 115-point-45 last month, up seven-point-five percent from a year earlier.
The on-year growth in the index peaked in September of last year at nine percent, the highest in 30 years, before falling for five consecutive months from October.
The declining trend, however, is unlikely to hold up with many franchised restaurants announcing plans to raise the prices of their products including hamburgers and chicken following price hikes involving liquor products.
The average price of representative menu items at restaurants in Seoul including naengmyeon and bibimbap continues to climb above ten-thousand won while the producers of processed foods such as bread, snacks, ice cream and drinking water also announced plans to raise prices.
The consumer price index last month came to stand at four-point-eight percent, falling below five percent for the first time in ten months, but a series of food price hikes is feared to cause an upturn in inflation.