restaurant prices

Toronto restaurants need to raise prices but some owners unsure if it's a good idea

It's no secret that the past two years has been a rough time for restaurants, and due to rising costs across the industry, it could get worse for the forseeable future.

Due to rising food costs, labour costs, and supply chain issues, being a restaurant owner has never been more expensive.

It's already common knowledge that most restaurants run at razor thin margins which means many across the industry are expecting to have to raise prices just to survive the next year.

Many restaurants already raised their prices coming out of lockdown, hoping to make up for a year of lost revenue, a move that the vast majority of customers have understood and embraced.

"We already changed the prices because there's no way you could survive without raising the prices," Tessa Herrera, owner of Kos Restaurant told blogTO.

"So far the acceptance from the customer has been fantastic. They're really understanding that everything's gone up. When a small business raises the price the support from the neighbourhood is good. They know everything that's going on and they're okay with it."

However other restaurants have been hesitant to raise prices, worried it could scare away some customers who may also be hurting financially after a chaotic year.

Many such restaurants are biting the bullet, eating the costs themselves and hoping that the price of food eventually returns to lower levels and any supply chain issues get resolved as the world begins its return to a state of normalcy.

"The restaurant industry is hurting but it's important to be resilient in this industry, to be passionate. If I put my heart and soul into this business I know I'll be successful," one restaurant owner who asked to remain anonymous told blogTO.

"A lot of restaurant owners are biting the bullet for this reason because we know a lot of our customers can't afford our prices if we increase them. If I can continue to receive the support I receive, I won't have to raise my prices."

Whether the changes are indeed temporary or a longterm one remains to be seen. But with many people having a new appreciation for service industry workers one can only hope that diners will continue to show grace and kindness even if their meal costs a couple extra bucks.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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