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Nando’s ‘rip-off’ charge for an item you could get for 30 cents at Coles

A retail expert said restaurants like Nando’s were “supercharging” the cost of their extras.

A Nando’s customer has shared his outrage after being charged nearly $3 for a slice of cheese, but a retail expert is warning these added charges have now become the norm for many businesses.

Speaking to Yahoo Finance, the customer shared he had gone to order a $14.95 PERinaise Classic burger on Uber Eats when he noticed the extra $2.95 charge to add cheddar cheese.

While the delivery service typically charges higher prices compared to ordering in-store, the Nando’s website reveals the price of adding cheese is still $1.95 when ordering directly.

Nando's charge
A Nando’s customer has called out the restaurant chain over its “ridiculous prices” for extras. (Source: Supplied/Getty)

Have you been hit with a crazy charge? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com

“[It’s] still a blatant rip-off when a slice of cheese from [the grocery store] would cost at most 10 cents, let alone wholesale prices,” the customer told Yahoo Finance.

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“There’s no justification for such significant profit margins when the cost of living is so high. Unfortunately cheese is a necessity for many burger eaters like myself.”

The customer added he would be willing to get cheese from home and toast the burger himself to avoid the “ridiculous prices”.

At Coles and Woolworths, for instance, you can buy a packet of 12 cheese slices for as little as $3.50 - or around 30 cents a slice.

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‘Outrageous’ strategy used by businesses

Flinders University professor of business management Roberta Crouch said Nando’s was using an old pricing strategy, where businesses advertise their core product as cheaply as possible, but then “supercharge” the cost of extras.

“I think what these organisations are doing is quite outrageous because it allows them to advertise a meal at a price that isn’t really representative of what the meal is going to cost,” Crouch told Yahoo Finance.

Crouch said this pricing strategy was already the norm for some businesses. Budget airlines, for example, advertise cheap flights but then charge customers a large amount to add luggage.

“They put a super premium price on all the extra things,” Crouch said. “If you just stick to the bare-bones product, then it’s economical. But, if you want to put any extras on it, then they make you pay big.”

Crouch said the upside of this strategy was it allowed for consumer choice. Nando’s customers, for example, don’t have to add cheese to their meal if they don’t want to.

“But the other side of that argument is, if it’s something that is readily available and doesn’t cost very much, you’d expect it to be part of the meal. And then they charge a premium for it. That’s a bit of dirty pool,” she said.

“There’s no cheese shortage. Cheddar cheese for a restaurant is very cheap. They’d be buying that super cheap and they know that it’s a typical thing that people want on their food that would cost them a few cents and it allows them to put an extra $3 on the price.”

Crouch said inflationary pressures were also impacting prices.

“Insurance, wages, electricity, rates and taxes, costs of produce - everything is more expensive. Businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, are under enormous pressure,” she said.

Nando’s Australia did not respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for comment.

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