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Paying more for your pub grub? Here’s why

Chef tossing chips
Restaurant and cafe meals are on track to get more expensive as businesses struggle with increasing overheads. (Source: Getty)

The price of a burger at your local pub is likely to rise - if it hasn’t already - as soaring overheads pressure hospitality venues to lift menu prices.

In the US, where the Federal Reserve is already hiking rates to curb sky-high inflation, a recent report showed menu prices at full-service restaurants had jumped 8 per cent since March last year.

Experts expect Australia’s menu prices to track in the same direction.

Restaurant and Catering Association chief executive officer Wes Lambert said hospitality businesses were “feeling the squeeze from the increasing cost of doing business”.

He said restaurants, cafes and other venues were under pressure from higher wage bills and rising costs of food and beverages.

“Supply issues, inflation, fuel cost surges, and relentless rises in rent and wages/superannuation risk the recovery of the industry most affected by COVID,” Lambert said.

“Ultimately, this means that menu prices will likely increase as businesses try to break even or even to make a small profit.”

The shortage of workers is one of the key issues facing the industry.

As a solution, Lambert advocated for “culture change” so more people considered a “rewarding, long-term career” in the industry.

“As well as helping to make it easier to bring skilled migration into the country to help fill roles while we train and skill up Australians.”

The price of everything is increasing

Inflationary pressures are driving up the cost of just about everything.

Petrol prices have been rising sharply, although the Federal Government has provided some relief for motorists by halving the fuel excise tax in the 2022 Budget.

Even canned goods, which are traditionally some of the best-value items you’ll find in the supermarket, have been edging upwards.

Brand name baked beans, canned spaghetti and red kidney beans have increased by 25-36 per cent, according to data from grocery comparison site Frugl.

Coffee has also been tipped to increase. The price of a latte is expected to rise to $5 in the city and as much as $7 in remote areas due to ballooning expenses for cafe owners.

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