Restaurant owners in St. Petersburg are being forced to revise the menu and raise prices due to rising product costs, business representatives told reporters.
Alexander Batushansky, general manager of Aram Mnatsakanov’s restaurants, said the chain immediately raised prices for all menu items because suppliers increased product costs by an average of 20-50%, and sometimes for some items. “We did not even compensate for the cost, we just increased prices by 20%,” Batushansky said.
The founder of the Norbert restaurant group (Puberty, The Nutcracker, Vkusnovitsa, Chaikhana Pakhvala) Alexander Sitnikov said that his facilities did not completely re-evaluate the entire menu, but only changed the cost of those items where there are imported ingredients.
The general manager of the “Chainikoff” coffee chain Mikhail Guseinov told Vedomosti that the chain took a different path: it generally refused to increase prices, but was forced to remove those menu items for which there was a large increase in costs. However, the entrepreneur does not rule out further price increases. “For two months we will be able to work on old shares, but then we will see. “We are trying to delay price increases as much as possible.”
We also checked prices in Teremka. According to Vitaly Svidovsky, co-owner of the chain, the company usually does not raise prices above inflation, trying to increase the cost of dishes by 2-3% per year as much as possible. However, in the current situation, it has become difficult to maintain prices. “When everyone started raising prices, we only raised them to offset the absolute cost,” Svidovsky said. He explained that after raising the purchase price of products in March by 4 million rubles, the chain had to increase the cost of dishes by about 1% in order to increase revenue by the same amount. But by mid-March, Teremok had reconsidered its policy and decided to raise prices by 6.5% overall, Svidovsky said.
According to the restaurants, all of them are faced with the need to find an alternative to the imported ingredients. “We are working on alternatives, if we can not make the taste the same, then we will review the dishes and look for new options,” says Batushansky. Now, on its premises, for example, pizza dough is made with imported flour. It is not always possible to replace it with domestic similar varieties while maintaining the taste. According to Svidovsky, even products made in Russia are dependent on imports: they are produced in foreign equipment that needs spare parts, maintenance and repairs.
Separately, restaurants note the rise in the price of alcohol. According to Huseynov, tequila has doubled in price, so Chaynikoff will not renew contracts with suppliers. According to Batushansky, literally the other day, the price of alcohol rose by up to 70% for some species. Sitnikov noted that beer prices had risen by 10% in his group’s restaurants. According to Alexander Oseev, a spokesman for Contact Bar, all importers have increased prices for alcohol, with the cost of the facility rising by an average of 30%.
Despite the rise in prices, Oseev noted the influx of visitors to beer establishments. “Maybe this is a psychological influence: people still have money and whoever can, spends where he can. “Something similar happened in 2014-2015,” he said.
Teremok also reported an increase in the number of visitors. According to Svidovsky, the flow of visitors in March increased from 10% to 15%, mainly due to the departure of McDonald’s. It is true that the trend did not affect places in shopping malls, where attendance fell sharply due to the departure of foreign stores and the restriction of rental in cinemas.
Huseynov said that participation in the chain of cafes “Chaynikoff” increased by 10-15%. In his opinion, this is due to the fact that the company did not raise prices. “I can say that price restraint has given us a big advantage. People are so shocked by how expensive everything has become, but here it is like an oasis where they tell you that nothing has gone up in price, visitors really like it. “We noticed an influx of guests,” he told Vedomosti.
Aram Mnatsakanov’s restaurants are experiencing the opposite trend – according to Batushansky, since the beginning of the year, the flow of visitors has decreased by 15%. The average control does not change either. “It can not fall because we raised prices. “If you raise prices and your check falls, then you are already at some kind of peak,” says Batushansky, noting that even guests in premium restaurants have certain price limits.