The Gordon Ramsay Restaurant in southern Seoul has recently faced multiple allegations of overcharging customers for its food. The restaurant primarily sells burgers, french fries, and shakes, which it describes as Michelin-starred. The cheapest burger on the menu reportedly costs ₩27,000 KRW (about $19.70 USD), and the most expensive one sells for ₩140,000 KRW (about $102 USD).
Many ordinary food lovers, as well as industry insiders, feel that the restaurant’s food is way too overpriced. Chloe Jeon, a 31-year-old office worker, was shocked to see the menu when she visited the Gordon Ramsay Restaurant. “I am a burger lover, and I have tried many hamburgers around the world, but I have never seen such a pricey one. I mean, it’s good, but it’s not to the level that I would pay over $100 for it,” she said.
A Food blogger named Jung also reiterated the same sentiment as Jeon.
Most of the prices of hamburgers at the Gordon Ramsay Restaurant are from the upper 20,000-won range to the low 30,000-won range, which is double the price at local burger restaurants. In terms of taste and quality, I don’t think Gordon Ramsay burgers are exceptionally better than other premium burgers here.
According to a college student named Lee, visiting the Gordon Ramsay Restaurant is not an affordable option for students. The restaurant’s Google rating currently stands at 3.9 stars, with most customers complaining about the high price and many saying their visit would be a one-time affair only.
With inflation affecting the economy, multiple reports noted that in South Korea, even office workers could hardly afford to eat at restaurants anymore and resort to convenience store meals instead for a lower price. In Seoul, the average price of a burger at a local joint can range between ₩5,000 KRW (about $3.65 USD) to ₩10,000 KRW (about $7.30 USD). These prices put into perspective why restaurant-goers feel that Ramsay’s brand is abnormal amounts for its food.
But chef Gordon Ramsay defended his restaurant, brushing off claims that it is ripping off Korean customers. During his visit to Seoul on November 10, he told the press, “We use the best food materials of butter, brioche buns, and patties. I wanted to introduce special menus in Korea as our brand is more competitive than others…We could have used frozen ingredients to reduce the price of our burgers, but I think the premium marketing strategy worked.”
Despite his statement, local burger franchises emphasized that even with premium quality ingredients, the price of a burger cannot go up this high unless the profit markup is way higher than usual. According to industry sources, in typical restaurants, the price of the raw ingredients accounts for up to 30% to 35% of the food item’s selling price, which doesn’t align well with Ramsay’s prices.
Regardless of the controversies, the restaurant seems to be faring well enough in Seoul for the chef to open up a street pizza restaurant in the city on October 28.