My folks ordered their usual pizza from an independent pizzeria in Bend —
it was $2 bucks more than usual.
The headlines of every major news outlet are talking about the mortgage crisis, but if you look on page 2, they’re also covering the rising costs of food. Not just at restaurants, but at your local grocery store as well. Flour is up 400%. Cheese is up 200%. Pork & beef, because they eat the wheat and corn that has gone up so drastically, have become more and more expensive to raise and butcher.
I have noticed quite a few articles in The Bulletin and the Source newspapers in Bend regarding how the owners of local restaurants are dealing with these dramatically rising costs. It makes me feel like we’re not alone. I haven’t seen or heard one thing in Baker City about how the national economy is affecting our local community in regards to the housing / mortgage crisis and its trickle-down effect.
As for our business, we’re combating the issue two ways:
First, we introduced a third size – 14″. We have a lot of retirees that have requested a smaller pizza, remarking that our other two sizes (18″ and 24″) are too big. Our slices are made from the 24″ pie, and we’ve suggested having a slice as it’s about the size of a small pizza. They prefer to order their own, though, so the 14″ size is perfect for them.
Second, we did a cost-analysis on every. single. ingredient. to. the. ounce. in all of our recipes, and have removed those menu items that have jumped the 45% food-cost margin.
Realize that the cost of your menu item is not only the cost of the food, but also the cost of the oven, electricity, gas, water, trash-collection, rent, taxes, and employee wages to produce that menu item. Our Giant 24″ pizzas are still too high of a food-cost, but Whitey is adamant that we keep the prices of these enormous pies under $30. Realistically, there are a few on the menu that should be priced at $40+ dollars – the ones with 3 pounds of cheese, big bacon crumbles, grilled chicken, etc. Our hope, obviously, is that the customer buys an appetizer / drinks / or dessert to offset the loss on the food cost. It’s when they get the order to-go and walk out the door with a $2 box that kills me.