Food costs driving prices up for Thanksgiving meals



SOME local restaurant owners say inflation and the high cost of food in grocery stores have led them to increase prices of their Thanksgiving meals.

Others are trying to keep prices down while not sacrificing quality.

Anita Ferguson, owner of Anita’s Café, said she had to increase her Thanksgiving special of ham and turkey by $5 due to food being increasingly high-priced, adding her dinner plates will now be priced at $20 rather than the usual price of $15.

Ms Ferguson explained that food prices have become gradually more expensive over time as she suggested that shopping in the grocery store is not as affordable as it used to be.

When asked if she believed it was a necessary decision to increase her menu items, Ms Ferguson said: “It is necessary, you have to do it. I went out today and the price of Romaine lettuce is $15.99 and iceberg lettuce is $6.99. So, as you can see there’s a big trend for the price. Last year I was paying $3.49 for the Romaine lettuce and today’s price is $15.99.”

Ms Ferguson said she only has a restaurant open a few days of the week in order to cut back on the expenses of maintaining her business.

“I cut back... because like you said the price of food items have gone up tremendously, it’s very expensive for anything that you use such as pork chop, fish, and seafood in general. And my niche is crab and seafood, so I am at the expensive part of the spectrum when it comes to food.”

Although Ms Ferguson had to raise her prices, she said her customers have been receptive to the change, adding they said her prices were still more affordable compared to other businesses.

The owner of Le Petit Gourmet, who identified herself as Ms Knowles, shared similar sentiments. She said food has become very costly for restaurant owners and also highlighted the high cost of Romaine lettuce.

However, she said she still is trying to provide quality food for customers at a reasonable price this Thanksgiving.

“Turkey is more expensive, I could tell you that. But, as I said, I’m trying to offer the same good quality product for about the same price. So, I’m the one at the end of the day that has to compromise,” she said.

She added that over the past three months her restaurant has noticed the skyrocketing prices of food.

Bernard Linden, owner of Healthy Lifestyle Center and Deli, said the restaurant has taken steps to help in reducing their menu prices from going up.

“What we do is make a lot of our own products from scratch. So that helps balance the costs. We are making an effort not to go up despite the inflation so the more products we make, the less expensive it is for us at the store.

“Like we make our own drinks, that’s a plus for us and we make our own vegetarian meat which is another plus.”

Another owner of Healthy Lifestyle Center and Deli added there has been a big contrast in cost when stocking up on items for the restaurant.

“I do see a difference with my suppliers with their prices going up. Foodwise we try to get as local as possible because some of them haven’t gone up as yet on local produce,” the co-owner said.

In October, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis revealed that 38 new items will be subject to price controls as Bahamians continue to grapple with the high cost of living compounded by inflation.

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