BARCELONA, September 20 (EFE).- It is already difficult to find a daily menu for less than 11 euros in Barcelona, as rising commodity and energy prices have forced most restaurateurs to raise prices. Now the cheapest is 12 euros and the most common is 13 or more.
In the wake of the price hike, many restaurants have also reduced their menus to offer cheaper products or decided that drinks will no longer be included in the daily menu, after a few days they have seen their customers drop, many because they have passed on lunchboxes.
Several bar and restaurant owners consulted by Efe explained that they had to increase the price of the daily menu involuntarily, even knowing that their regular customers would dislike it.
According to data from Spain’s Hospitality Association, daily menu costs have risen by an average of just 9% since 2016, and yet prices have risen by 9.4% over the nine months.
Energy prices make the daily menu more expensive
Lucas – he prefers not to reveal his surname – is the manager of the La Yaya bar-restaurant, located in La Rambla del Pobleno, and explains that he has had to raise the price of his menu by 12 to 13 euros to cover costs, mainly because of the cost of electricity and electricity. Increase.
Thus, Lucas’s customers would have to pay about 22 euros more per month to eat at his establishment every working day.
“I am disgusted and disappointed at the cost. Since the end of the summer, the electricity bill has doubled: now we pay more than 2,000 euros per month for the electricity bill when before it was around 1,000 euros,” Lucas laments.
“Each month we have to save more than the previous one,” he added.
Restaurant owners blame the situation on rising electricity prices but also on the exorbitant cost of some raw materials, many of them essential to prepare meals on the daily menu, such as oil or coffee.
Some restaurants have decided to remove coffee from the menu price if it is included or offer a dish with additional supplements.
“In recent months, we have paid 10% more than usual to be able to buy meat, seafood, oil, vegetables and beer,” said Lucas.
“With the price increase, we now spend about 50% of our earnings on food and for this reason, we have increased the menu prices by one euro,” he summarized.
Change the daily menu card to survive
La Yaya’s situation is not an isolated incident, as one owner of the Cabo Nue bar in the Sant Martí neighborhood (Barcelona), Andres Yakovsky, explained to EFE that he also had to raise the prices of the daily menu. Two euros, a strict but completely effective measure not to float: “We are still tight,” he says.
Both Cabo Nou restaurant and Palamos (El Terral restaurant in Girona), their managers decided to create a new daily menu card at the end of the summer in order to survive: “We have now eliminated very expensive dishes, such as shrimp, because if customers don’t want them ask but won’t pay,” Sara Andreu, a waitress at El Terral, explained to Ife.
“Today, there are products on the menu that are not profitable, like padron peppers and many others that we can no longer afford,” said the owner of Cabo Nou about the rising cost of raw materials.
Have faith and hope that the situation will improve
Despite the information, the increase in prices and the arrival of inconsistent bills, many workers like Sara Andreu maintain faith and hope that their situation will improve in the coming months, although they are afraid of losing customers “if they continue to raise prices” .
“Inflation is affecting everyone; Customers have also noticed that life is more expensive and they are looking for cheaper but quality food”, according to Andreu.
“The first thing the client says is ‘how expensive it is’, and it seems they forget that no one is left behind in this growth, not even us,” said Yakovsky, who considers that “a business is a business », despite criticism from customers.
By Irene Revert Chico