How restaurants adjust to rising costs

Faced with rising wages and rising prices for raw materials and energy, restaurant owners are forced to adapt to keep their heads above water.

The beautiful season promises to be complicated for restaurateurs. From meat to fish, including frying oil, butter, and eggs, restaurants are bearing the brunt of rising raw materials. Energy bills, whether we’re talking about restaurant heating, gas in kitchens, or fuel for delivery, are also high. Not to mention the need to accommodate the new salary network, which has withdrawn part of the salaries, and that the deadlines for repayment of state-guaranteed loans (PGE) and deferment of fees are coming.

In the next few weeks it may be necessary to pay a slightly larger amount at the time of addition. “We recommend restaurateurs do their math well to take these increases into account,” confirms Martine Corbon, president of the Confederation of Hotel Professions and Industries (UME) at Puys-de-Dôme. For some institutions, “if they don’t increase, they won’t be able to withstand. There are no thirty-six solutions,” she said. In Aude, chief Grand Buffets in Narbonne He had already announced in January that he would increase his list price by €5.

‘We’ll make lower margins’

While the issue of purchasing power is central to the minds of the French, it is difficult to make a decision. Dominic Judis, president of the association, stresses that the situation is “extremely complex” Norman bowl, which serves pancakes and grills in downtown Granville in County Manch. Foreign tourists are still scarce in Granville, near Mont-Saint-Michel, and competition is fierce in winter in a city with a hundred restaurants for 13,000 inhabitants. However, the Norman restaurateur prefers not to over-adjust his prices.

“Too bad we’ll make lower margins, but I can’t stand the increase,” asserts Dominic Iods, fearing losing some of his clients because “their budget has also gone down.” “We’re not here to beat up tourists. For me, what matters is paying my staff and merchandise,” he adds, and anyway “it’s already been an empty year” due to the PGE payments and social fee deferrals.

For some organizations, the solution is in the menu. In spring or summer menus, which should not be prolonged, some products may disappear from a few dishes, or some dishes may simply be scratched. Hake can replace the bass or the sole. Faced with the “crazy prices” of entrecotes or scallops, Patrick Franchini chose not to offer them to his customers anymore, at his bistronomic restaurant in Dole, in the Jura, preferring to work with simpler and more accessible.

“I’m in constant negotiations with suppliers, and local producers can’t serve everyone,” notes Head Jura, head chef at Moulin des Eccorks, who bets on a “shorter and less consistent” menu. “It takes a lot of thought for recipes, but we’re finding solutions,” he says.

Not enough servers

The trend towards short card or short circuit is not new, but “this is the first time that the price of products has been the cause,” stresses Bernard Potboul, President of Gira Conseil. For the catering specialist, the health crisis and the current high prices are accelerating a transformation that has already long been underway. “Overall, the economic model of catering has not worked for several years,” he says, and some are trying to change things, referring to the Bystromion case.

But the high costs do not overshadow the main problem of the restoration, the crisis of professions: today there are 150,000 people missing to meet the needs. “It’s a problem,” Martin Corbon sums up. Establishments struggle to recruit waiters or dishwashers, and sometimes have to reduce the number of tables or work days, which leads to lower turnover. In Dole, Patrick Franchini’s restaurant will be closed on Sunday and Monday evenings, while it has been open seven days a week so far.

“All restaurants in Granville are looking for someone. I’m looking for three,” asserts Dominique Eudes. “If I can’t enlist by summer, we will slow down filling the room.” “There’s no point in filling if it means making customers wait.”

Jeremy Bruno BFMTV journalist

Leave a Comment