Restaurateur and former chief executive of Pizza Express Hugh Osmond has warned that the cost of eating out could ‘soar’ over the coming months as the cost of living crisis continues to take hold across the UK.
Food and drink prices are already rising rapidly, with the cost of some products up by almost 30%, and it is having a knock-on effect on eating out. Osmond said that he expected the hike in prices to last for months, with food and drink inflation reaching up to 10% across all his restaurants. Osmond is the founder of Punch Taverns and Various Eateries restaurant group, which owns Coppa Club and Tavolino.
The cost of buying chicken and fish has gone ‘bonkers’, he commented, citing the war in Ukraine as one of the contributing factors to the rise in prices, as well as major supply chain issues exacerbating the situation. Indeed, supermarkets have also seen supply shortages since the start of the war in Ukraine, with items such as sunflower oil missing on shelves (Ukraine is one of the largest suppliers of sunflower seeds in the world).
It’s not just Osmond who warns of a hike in the cost of eating out. Co-founder of Fallow in St James’ James Robson said that customer bills will have to go up by 20% to 40% to accommodate the rise in food prices, and could potentially double over the next three years. Elsewhere, Michelin starred restaurant Casamia in Bristol is set to close in August after owner Peter Sanchez-Iglesias says it has become 'financially unviable'.
Meanwhile, Pied a Terre owner David Moore said his utility bills have tripled since before Christmas, and that ‘people are going to see price rises across the board that are unprecedented, otherwise many restaurants just won’t survive.’
The chief executive of UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, had previously commented that restaurants are facing a ‘toxic cocktail of costs’, with the price of a main meal in a restaurant increasing by an average £1.50 in April.
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