Price-squashed restaurants are calling for tax cuts

The calculations are not easy to do: you add up the costs and subtract the profit margins. The calculator has been one of the main tools in Portuguese restaurant kitchens for months. Food prices soared with the outbreak of war in Ukraine and shrapnel were thrown onto plates. Refueling is a challenge for restaurants struggling with an ever-rising bill.

“Loin of veal cost € 11.90 in the last six months and today costs an average of € 26. Overall cereals have increased by 45% and our profit margin has shrunk,” says Vítor Sobral. The chef, who manages more than a dozen restaurant spaces, believes that if measures to support the sector are not created, some places will be forced to close their doors.

Mathematics is also a dish of the day in the Olivier group. “The leg of crab, one of the ex libris of the Japanese restaurants of the Yakuza, has practically tripled in price in less than a year. But even the most common raw material in restaurants has undergone strong increases,” says Joel Pires, director of marketing and group sales.

The restaurateur Olivier adds 20 spaces with different concepts. The need to use different raw materials has allowed us to confirm the price increase in all products. “The fish, which is the basis of the Yakuza and the Classic Beach Bar, has seen high double-digit increases. Salmon, for example, has risen by 50%. For example, it has already grown more this year alone,” adds the sales manager.

The president of Promover and Inovar in Restauração Nacional (PRO.VAR) guarantees that subsequent price increases “are leaving entrepreneurs in a real nervous breakdown”.

The official assures that the restaurants with traditional Portuguese cuisine are the ones facing the greatest difficulties. “Restaurants that bet on traditional gastronomy, especially on single-product concepts and on the most noble products, such as cod or goat specialties, are currently in great difficulty, because reflecting the increase in prices, they assume prohibitive”, says Daniel Serra. .

price increase
Although rising costs are already behind us, the armed conflict in Eastern Europe has fueled the escalation of inflation. In April, the consumer price index (CPI) hit 7.2%, its highest since March 1993, the National Statistics Institute (INE) revealed this week.

According to Deco’s latest analysis, released yesterday 13, a basket of basic necessities now costs 207.21 euros, or 23.58 euros more than at the end of February, at the beginning of the war. Deco’s monitoring reveals that price hikes occur every week, without exception. Between 4 and 11 May, frozen peas (+14.89), tuna in oil (+ 12.16%) and cereal and honey flakes (+ 9.35%) were the foods with the greater price increase.

Dwindling consumer purchasing power is another burning in the fire of restaurant problems. As Dinheiro Vivo teased this week, two-thirds of employees (TCOs) in Portugal will already lose wage purchasing power.

For the Associação da Hotelaria, Restauração and Similares de Portugal (AHRESP), this situation will have “a very negative effect and will be unsustainable” and it is assumed that inflation is currently the main concern of the sector. The association explains that as costs rise, companies see their “profit margins squeezed” as they struggle not to raise consumer prices.

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