STORY: South Korean office workers are experiencing 'lunch-flation'
As inflation prices them out of their usual lunchtime spots
they are turning to convenience stores offering meals for under $5
such as cheap instant noodles, sandwiches and meal boxes
Chains like GS25, CU and 7-Eleven have all reported a surge in demand
[Park Mi-won, Office worker]
"I had a restaurant that I used to go to. However, after prices went up, I started going to convenience stores instead where I think the prices are more reasonable while the food also tastes good. So now I come here often, about two to three times a week."
Global food prices have surged 23% from a year before
Source: United Nations
Restaurant owners are also taking the hit
[Lee Sang-jae, Restaurant owner]
"As a matter of fact, I need to raise the prices even higher. Instead, I am giving up some of my profit margin, as I also have to consider office workers' tight budgets these days, so I only raised the prices a little, I'm sharing the pain with them."