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

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