Florida's Restaurateurs Say that Customers "Understand" Rising Menu Prices Due to Inflation and Increasing Egg Costs

L. Cane

If you've visited your favorite restaurant in Florida lately, you may have noticed an increase in menu prices - particularly on dishes that rely upon foods with surging costs, such as eggs or crab.

In most cases, there is a legitimate reason for that. In the same way that most Floridians have seen higher grocery bills as costs for food items rise due to inflation or shortages, restaurants have had to deal with the same increases in cost.

And this has left many restaurateurs dealing with a tricky situation. If they ask customers to absorb the rising cost and raise their menu prices, they risk seeing fewer customers come through their doors. But if they choose to absorb the cost, then they cut into their own profits.

How Much Prices for Restaurant Ingredients Have Increased: Examples of how much food prices have increased for restaurants show substantial changes. For example, Steve Pachmayer, the general manager of Himes Breakfast House in south Tampa, told the Tampa Bay Times that the price of 180 eggs has more than tripled in cost - from $30.59 to $98.51. (Experts say that the increase in egg prices is due to the avian flu.)

Gino Rallo, who owns a Shells restaurant in Melbourne, told News 13 that the price of clams has almost doubled, leaving him with two options - taking that item off the menu or raising the price. Rallo said he was very hesitant to raise prices, as many of his customers are older and on a fixed income, but he didn't have much of a choice. Of his prices, he told News 13:

"I'd like to hold them where they're at, but eventually I'll have to bring them up."

Toni Naumann, who owns Benchwarmers Café in Spring Park, told News 4 Jax that she's had to raise her prices twice, but strives to stay affordable to her customers, explaining:

“I feel horrible. I don’t want someone to come in here and have a $15 lunch. “That’s not our price point..."

Florida's Restaurant Owners Have Indicated that Patrons "Understand" Menu Price Increases: Some of the restaurateurs mentioned above have indicated that their customers understand the need to raise prices and haven't changed their dining out or ordering habits all that much.

Steve Pachmayer of Himes Breakfast House told the Tampa Bay Times that although he sought out cheaper supplies so that he wouldn't have to pass on rising costs, he ultimately had to raise prices and his customers have mostly understood, explaining:

“They go to the grocery store. They know what inflation is. They understand.”

Shells' Gino Rallo echoed this sentiment, telling News 13 that his customers were also struggling with inflation, and therefore understood his menu price dilemma.

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