Restaurants need “bums on seats” to make ends meet

Restaurants and Catering Australia (R&CA) has said that restaurants across the country will be forced to raise prices if they are to stay in business. The 2019 annual Benchmarking Report is released and shows that restaurants are struggling to make ends meet with food businesses dealing with rising below-the-line costs and delivery platforms that demand more than their fair share of the pie.

R&CA’s CEO, Wes Lamber, said, “This year, we are seeing more restaurants struggle than ever before. There are a number of rising and additional costs that consumers don’t consider which are putting extreme financial pressure on restaurant owners. Food prices have soared as farmers combat the drought and costs such as rents, wages and utility prices continue to rise. Finally, restaurant, cafe and catering businesses are left to contend with the hefty chunk delivery platforms take out of the profit. It’s a battle that business owners are slowly losing.”

He added, “We encourage people to actually go to their favourite restaurants to either pick up their food or dine in rather than use a delivery platform. Convenience is obviously a strong driver for patrons, but it is important diners understand that restaurants will close if something doesn’t change soon.

“Our call to the Australian dining public is to be prepared for their local restaurant, cafe or caterer raising the prices of their meals to ensure they survive. These businesses cannot continue to pay the high commission forced on them by delivery platforms on top of rising costs across the board. Something has to give or businesses will be forced to close.”

The 2019 R&CA National Benchmark Report covers favoured bank and superannuation funds, business expectations, outdoor seating areas, business costs, skills and labour, digital technology, use of social and digital marketing channels and the importance of serving Australian wines.

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