Higher restaurant prices to offset rising product costs

As a result of inflation, restaurant bills are getting higher and higher. Subject to an explosion in the cost of raw materials, some Geneva restaurateurs are forced to increase their prices, while others modify their recipes, even if it means upsetting family traditions.

At the Chiche ou pas chiche restaurant in Geneva, hummus is a family affair. Ulas Yilmaz and his mother Aytem prepare five kilos of it every morning.

The ingredients have never changed: chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and cumin. But inflation got the better of their recipe. A third of the liter of olive oil that made the preparation smooth has been replaced by water. The price of the oil the restaurant uses has risen 20.4% since the start of the year.

“We always ate it like that. Changing it and modifying it is always a bit sad,” Ulas Yilmaz told 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The restaurateur notes an increase in prices on all products. In a few weeks, the cost of the salad was multiplied by 1.5, and that of the aubergines by 2.7. “We don’t want to make an increase and lose customers. After the Covid, it’s difficult to recreate a desire to come back to the restaurant”, testified Ulas Yilmaz.

More expensive meals

Yoan Lomet, manager of the Geneva restaurant and bar The Elephant in the Can, has meanwhile decided to increase his prices. The dishes served in the establishment have been more expensive by 1 to 2 francs for the past month.

“We have no other choice. We can’t work at a loss or at zero, it’s not possible. There are products that we remove, that we replace, we look for other recipes … We are reinventing ourselves, but it is going much too quickly. The solution is to increase prices, it becomes complicated to look for something else,” argued the restaurateur.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, its suppliers have all increased their bills: up 7.1% for wine, 11.4% for beef and up to 47.5% for salmon.

On the terrace, however, customers say they are ready to pay more. “I don’t go to the restaurant every day. The little that I go there, I don’t mind that there is a small increase,” reported one customer. The trend seems general. Like every lunchtime, the restaurant was full on Thursday.

Charlotte Onfroy-Barrier/iar

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