Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

The Indirect Connection Between Egypt and the Prices on Your Menu

February 22, 2011

Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you must have heard by now about the unrest in Egypt and how the government there is under siege from the populous. However, what you may not be aware of is that the problems in the Middle East have the potential to rock the restaurant industry here in the United States as well. Here’s what you need to know.

The Real Reason the Unrest Started Now

For all that the Egyptians yearn to be free, they’ve been living under an oppressive regime for a very long time. This therefore begs the question – why now? What is it that has made Tunisia and now Egypt finally begin to try to throw off their corrupt leaders? The answer it turns out is food insecurity.

Rising Prices for Commodities on World Markets

The Egyptian unrest stems in large part from the fact that world prices for food commodities, especially things like wheat have been soaring lately. In a poor country like Egypt, this can literally mean the difference between starvation and survival. However, here at home, the same economic forces can have a profound impact on the restaurant industry.

Be Prepared for Higher Prices for Raw Materials

Bottom line, we can expect to see prices of all kind of food products rising this year because of the world rise in commodities prices. This means in turn we either will have to absorb the difference in our menus or we’ll have to raise prices in order to stay afloat.

Either way, the unrest in Egypt indirectly means tougher times ahead for the restaurant industry because of the fact that we must (by definition) rely so heavily on raw materials to create the foods that we serve to our diners. This does not bode well for an industry which is just starting to pull out of the recession. What will happen? Who knows – stay tuned.