Toronto restaurant apologizes for raising its prices
It's not just you. Things are getting more expensive lately at restaurants and cafes in Toronto – or at least, they are at places that haven't already been forced to closed down.
A number of unfortunate circumstances have combined in recent years to make keeping the lights on trickier for many small business owners in our city.
Soaring rent prices on commercial real estate, volatile, unpredictable tax rates, and the anticipation of a higher minimum wage are enough to handle on their own, but increasing food prices have made profit margins slimmer for those in the restaurant industry.
Even Tim Horton's had to raise its prices last month in an attempt to keep up with rising operational costs (as angry hosers will very clearly remember.)
When faced with a decision between closing up shop or serving an inferior quality product to customers, some chefs take the noble route.
The option to raise prices always stands, of course, but business owners run the risk of alienating consumers and losing even more money in the end.
If only every price hike came with a letter like this one from Junction pizzeria Buddha Pie.
"Dear patrons, On average over the past two decades, food prices have risen 2.6 percent a year," starts the message, which was published on Friday. "The bottom line however is that it costs more every year to get top quality products."
"We have never cut corners and do not intend on starting now. To this end, after five years, we are raising the costs of our Pizza Pies consistent with the added costs required to deliver the standard of product we deliver," it continues. "We sincerely hope that this is acceptable and understood."
Contrary to what happened when Tim Horton's raised prices, Buddha Pie customers seem happy to oblige.
"That is more than fair and well justified," wrote one customer in the Facebook post's comments.
"You don't need to justify a price increase," wrote another. "Just never compromise quality and I'll keep coming."
This suggests that maybe, with some thoughtful communication on behalf of restauranteurs, people might actually be cool with stomaching price increases.
Fingers crossed. We really don't want to see any more great restaurants close.
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