Inflation: heat stroke in Charente restaurants

Inflation: heat stroke in Charente restaurants

1. Hard to get the fries

In supermarkets, the liter of sunflower oil has increased about 30% compared to January 1. 45% for frying oil. This Charente chip shop, which prefers to remain anonymous, is worried. “Before we paid €40 for 25 liters of sunflower oil. Today at least I’m…

1. Hard to get the fries

In supermarkets, the liter of sunflower oil has increased about 30% compared to January 1. 45% for frying oil. This Charente chip shop, which prefers to remain anonymous, is worried. “Before we paid €40 for 25 liters of sunflower oil. Today I am at least €90 for a can. “Our prices have gone up and yet we have had to reduce margins. Specifically, I don’t know how long I’ll last. French fries are a product whose price cannot be increased forever, people would not understand why they pay a small cone for €4! » Added to that is the cost of gasoline and the drought that caused the potato harvest to fall by at least 20%. Result: smaller (and more expensive) fries and therefore shorter fries! The Belgians are already alarmed.

2. Flambéed meat: €30 for the ribeye

Eating meat in restaurants has become a small luxury. Rise in the price of cuts, pellets, cereals, the price of meat to buy has skyrocketed. In the River or in Paul’s de Angoulême, the steak has been charged seven euros in one year. “It is at €29 and our margin has dropped considerablydescribes Fabrice Léger, the director and chef of the River. But there is a threshold that must not be exceeded. We only make limousines, which are already expensive. If another €2 is taken for the purchase, we will remove it from our card. The duck breasts have been missing for three months.

If this keeps up, I’m going to light my restaurant with candles.

Gueuleton, in Segonzac, the restaurant that has made meat its specialty, supplies itself “More and more live “, up to forty kilometers in a straight line, describes the boss Cédric Rangier. The pig comes from the Monts Verts de Montbron farm, which has slightly raised its prices. Like the Charbonnières de Vouharte estate (€1 more, now €15 per kilo). Cédric Rangier has also reduced the proportion of duck on the menu. “ We live in the market. Even eggs have become expensive.” but for him “There is also speculation, inflation does not explain everything. » Regardless, he managed just fine: he was able to stock up on oil and mustard before prices got too high. The same goes for the mustard he uses for his sauces. Instead, he gave up serving his Roquefort or his hazelnut mustards. Very expensive.

At Tire Bouchon, in Angoulême, boss Stéphane Lenique, who sources in particular from the Monts Verts farm in Montbron, added €2, only on beef and pork, but still had to reduce his margin. “ I’m not going to be able to do this for another six months. » From now on, aim for the fairest. “ I buy 4/5 apples instead of buying 10 kilos, avoid throwing away. What concerns him even more is energy. “It’s already €300 more this year and I heard it’s going to go up even more. If this continues I’m going to light my restaurant with candles “, he jokes.

3. The fish has its beak in the water

In the river, stocking up on meat is not easy at all. “ But buying fish is even more complicated, there are fish that have become untouchable such as barbel, red mullet or turbot.reports the director Fabrice Léger. We eat the same things, cod, hake. So it’s up to us to be creative so that the client doesn’t get bored. This week we have made carbonero, which is less noble but to make it more sexy we serve it with truffle tagliatelle. » €28 for cod or red mullet at market stalls, €40 for monkfish. Even sardines and mackerel suffer from inflation.

In La Cigogne, in Soyaux, Erick and Sandrine Boux prefer seasonal fish such as octopus or corvina, but they have stopped using turbot. At the Moulin de la Tardoire, star chef Matthieu Brudo watches prices spike and is sorry to see “ the fish from our coasts goes abroad so that at our stalls we find fish that is not from here. Lean is at €30-35 per kilo when normally you could have it at €15 or €19. Sometimes, therefore, less noble fish are preferred. »

4. Fruits and vegetables: €1.80 a cucumber!

€1.80 for a cucumber at Victor-Hugo in Angoulême compared to one euro a few months ago. Charentais open field tomatoes at €6.99, Crimean tomatoes at €6.99. The price of peaches has shot up 25% in one year according to the Familles Rurales association, 37% for peppers, 31% for vine tomatoes. Cucumber and green beans are also close to a 20% increase. The price of fruits and vegetables has risen twice as fast as inflation: 11% between 2021 and 2022. Eating five fruits and vegetables a day represents between 5 and 16% of the minimum wage for a family of four according to the consumer association. At Le Jardin, the restaurant in the center of Angoulême, a large consumer of fruit and vegetables, we are thinking about how to cushion the rise in prices without affecting the customer. “ By increasing the volumes, we compensate for the rise in prices and we work with integration projects in organic horticulture, which allows us to have quality products at adequate prices. Inclusion through work has been our philosophy from the beginning. »

Some restaurants are raising their menu prices

At La Cigogne, in Soyaux, Erick and Sandrine Boux increased the price of menus by €2 last spring. To offset increases and maintain your margin. “Customers understand. They also do their shopping. But we haven’t touched the €28 lunch formula, which is the loss leader. » The restaurant adapts its menus according to “Product supply and sustainability difficulties because we make our menus for six weeks”. However, Sandrine Boux points out “ that premises and loyalty pay. For example, local flour has not increased. »
At the Moulin de la Tardoire, the star restaurant in Montbron, known for its attractive menu on the plate and on the bill, Mathieu Brudo has added 10% to his menus. “We will see how it will break out in the coming months, I do regular checks with the counter. We think more about our menus, we calculate and adapt. “Your products purchased short-circuit, your specialty, are not exempt from increases. “I pay 15% more for the pigeons because the corn that the producer uses to feed them has been burned. » He wonders more about the increased cost of fruits and vegetables that grow outdoors, under the effect of the sun. At McDonald’s, Laurent Terrisse, the head of the Charente stores, has also raised his prices a bit. However, his margin has decreased.

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