Takeaways in the north and northeast face price hikes and food shortages
Takeaway businesses in the north and northeast continue to face an uphill battle against multiple growing industry issues, including food shortages and rising costs.
Due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, among other factors such as Covid and Brexit, chances are that one of your favorite local takeaways, if not your favorite, has been affected. one way or another.
The reduction of opening hours, menus and teams are some of the avenues taken to prevent businesses from permanently closing their hatches.
“We have had to increase our menu prices by around 10% and will likely have to do so again as food and energy prices rise,” says Angus Kerr, co-owner of Aberdeen Thai restaurant Madame Mews. , alongside partner Mew Garthley.
Oil, rice and chicken
Angus went on to say: “On top of that the VAT is back to 20%, the rates are back and there is pressure to raise wages.
“Covid has already destroyed many small businesses and has been further exasperated by the constant injection of money into the economy. Where is all this money coming from?
While Madame Mews may have no choice but to raise the costs of her dishes for the second time in months, Angus and Mew, like many others, have also been plagued by food shortages.
Oil, rice and chicken are some of the products that are missing.
Jennifer McEwan, owner of The Humble Burger in Elgin, hasn’t had trouble buying basics so far, as the company’s produce is sourced locally.
However, she says the price of everything “has risen dramatically”.
“From our gas to our electricity to generation and equipment, everything is more expensive and getting harder and harder to find,” added Jennifer.
The Humble Burger used to cost £8 per platter of tomatoes at this time last year, which has increased by £5 over the past 12 months.
Oil rose from £20 to over £35 and, due to shortages of milk products including cheese, they rose by 50%.
Stainless steel sheets have also doubled in price.
Jennifer said: “Even our recyclable packaging has increased by a third, while non-recyclable packaging remains offered.
“I haven’t had to increase the prices of our menu items yet, but if we were to, it would probably be around 15%.
“We don’t want to raise our prices because we know how hard everyone is struggling – but something has to give at some point for businesses and customers.”
Reduced VAT to ease the pressure
Sutor Creek Takeout and Deli was also impacted by rising food and energy prices.
Co-owner Phoebe Fox, of Cromarty, has increased some of the dishes on the restaurant’s menu by 3%.
On this, the 49-year-old said: “It is a direct impact of increased costs for us.
“But we haven’t raised our prices to account for all the extra costs passed on to us by suppliers.
“The rising cost of essential food items and supply chain issues continue to be a concern.
“Vegetable oil is now a wholesale restricted product that is an integral part of our business.
“The issue of rising energy prices is also a major concern, as there are very few ways to reduce energy consumption in a catering business that uses multiple cooking and refrigeration units.
“In addition to the food and fuel crisis, there is also a national staffing crisis in the hospitality industry.”
Like Madame Mews’ Angus, Phoebe says a reduction in VAT for hospitality – as has been the case during the pandemic – would alleviate much of the pressure on food and drink companies.
“This would allow us to absorb increases in food costs and invest in additional staff,” she added.
“The government could help by capping energy prices and reducing VAT.”
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[North and north-east takeaways endure price hikes and food shortages]