A couple of weeks ago this site noted the shuttering of Danks Street Depot due to a number of factors, including higher power and refrigeration costs brought on by the carbon tax. Not surprisingly, Danks Street isn’t the only operation feeling the pinch:
Neil Perry runs four top restaurants in three states – NSW, Victoria and Western Australia. Food prices are one thing, he says. It’s the input costs that are the killer. Labour, transport, government red tape and energy. “My power costs have nearly doubled since last July,” Perry says. “Across the Rockpool group, electricity cost us $1 million in 12 months. We’ve been really battling not to put our prices up.”
Read the whole article: it’s a good round-up of the factors that make eating out – whether in pubs or fine diners – so expensive in this country. Added up, they go a long way toward busting the myth, repeatedly peddled, that running a restaurant is a quick ticket to wealth so long as one is willing to exploit staff. Instead we see that much – but by no means all – of the high relative cost of serving up food in Australia comes from the thousand cuts of government regulation, from labour market over-regulation to high taxes on alcohol (which is why a bottle of Grange can be found cheaper overseas than here at home).
With consumer spending on restaurants softening, the industry is likely to feel the pinch even further in 2013.
(Thanks to reader James in Footscray for the, ahem, tip).