Would You Pay 99 Cents for Grated Cheese or Red Pepper on Your Pizza?

Some Pizza Hut locations in California are now charging for what most of us are used to getting for free.

Most of us probably take for granted those shakers of red pepper flakes and grated cheese at the pizza parlor – or the little packets some places throw in with delivery. We never think to be grateful that they’re free. That may soon change.

Some Pizza Hut outlets in California have been spotted selling little shakers of crushed red pepper (.61 ounces) and grated cheese (.88 ounces) for 99 cents apiece, Nation’s Restaurant News reports, raising concern that this new move to charge for something that was once gratis may spread further.

The 99-cent shakers, which Pizza Hut is peddling as a way to “Shake Up Pizza Night,” were first spotted in a point-of-sale display by restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski, who linked them, in an industry research report, to “wage inflation in California.” While Kalinowski allowed that creativity may be necessary to boost the business operators’ bottom line, he contended that “nickel-and-diming guests might not be the best way to go.”

Pizza Hut confirmed to NRN that it was testing red pepper and grated cheese sales in “select” Southern California locations. However, it said the initiative was not currently “being widely implemented” and was still “in the early stages of capturing consumer response.”

But before you breathe a big pizza-scented sigh of relief, note that some California locations of Domino’s, too, charge for crushed red pepper and grated parmesan cheese – with a price point of $1.25 per 1-gram and 2-gram portion, respectively – according to NRN.

As long as they don’t start charging for napkins ...

Photo: iStock

Next Up

Grate Your Garlic

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens' Katherine Alford: If you're using raw garlic in a dish, grate the cloves on a fine grater.

Would You Pay $18 for a Cup of Coffee?

A new coffee spot in Brooklyn (where else?) is banking that some people will shell out a lot of beans for its premium brew.

Would You Name Your Dog Waffles?

Apparently the latest trend sees people naming their pets after brunch food.

Would Giada Approve of Your Pasta Choices?

With so many pasta shapes and sizes, things can get confusing in the kitchen. Here are Giada's pro tips for perfect pasta dishes.

Would You Name Your Kid Quinoa for $10,000?

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse will pay you to name your kid Quinoa.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Robin Miller's twist on pesto -- made with roasted red peppers and lower in fat than the traditional green Italian sauce, is wonderful on sandwiches, meat or fish.

Easy Red Pepper Dip

This dip has is all: it's healthy, easy to make, allergy-friendly (it's dairy and gluten free) and it's sure you be a crowd-pleaser at your New Year's Eve bash.