Monday, June 7, 2021

Rant: Rising Menu Prices

Have you gone grocery shopping lately? If so, you've realized that prices have been increasing, some significantly, and your weekly grocery bill has risen over the past year or so. The most basic staples are often more costly, and there is little you can do but pay the price. 

It should then be obvious, although you may not even consider it, that restaurants have also been paying increased prices for their ingredients and supplies, cutting into their already slim profits. They too have little option but to pay the higher costs. 

What are restaurants supposed to do, to handle these additional expenses? Raising their menu prices is an important option, although that can upset some customers. People need to understand that restaurants aren't trying to rip them off, they are simply trying to survive, to handle their added expenses, especially during these difficult times, when the pandemic has negatively impacted so many restaurants. 

Last week, this matter came to the forefront of my mind, when Viet Citron, an excellent Vietnamese restaurant in Burlington, posted about their added expenses on their Facebook page. They noted how their costs had risen, from Paper Togo supplies up 75% to Pork up to 50%. Viet Citron mentioned that they would be increasing their menu prices slightly to adjust to their added expenses. Very transparent and absolutely necessary. 

I've spoken to other restaurant owners who have voiced similar experiences, added expenses which are adversely affecting their bottom line. Some have worried about raising their prices, concerned how customers will view the issue. All customers need to understand why menu prices are rising, and to accept the higher menu prices because restaurant expenses have increased so much. If you're paying more for your own groceries, then restaurants have to do the same. 

Right now, restaurants need your patronage, more than ever. If you can pay higher prices at the grocery store, then you should be able to pay higher prices at restaurants too.

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