Posts Tagged ‘diners’

Restaurateurs Feel the Crush of High Prices

June 16, 2011

No restaurateur has been immune to the recent price increases in raw food costs. However, the fact that prices have gone up so much in such a short time has put a huge crimp in our industry. With some Americans still reluctant to eat out because they are worried about their finances, restaurateurs are finding themselves stuck between a rock and hard place – in essence, they are finding that they are unable to raise prices even though their raw material costs are going up exponentially. In order to combat the problem, some restaurateurs have resorted to creative and not so creative ways to stem the tide of red ink.

Among the more creative options, some restaurateurs have begun simply serving slightly smaller portions of food. This is probably the easiest way to keep prices the same in the face of rising food costs – if you usually served four slices of bacon with the bacon and eggs special, cutting down to three slices instead is an easy fix. Unfortunately, that only gets one so far—you can’t cut down from two to one slice without affecting the customers’ experience.

Others are trying to substitute cheaper ingredients (for example, cheap white bread in place of the more expensive house breads), especially for things like toast where it’s less noticeable to the diners. Others have simply dropped the most expensive items from their menus as unprofitable in light of the extreme rise in the cost of raw food products and still others have been forced to lay off staff and require waiters and dishwashers to do more work for the same money just in order to make ends meet.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much relief in sight as the turmoil in the Middle East continues to consume the world’s economy with increasingly high prices for crude oil. This in turn, more than anything else has been pushing up prices and causing all the pain for restaurateurs and ordinary Americans trying to put food on the table.