Surging restaurant prices in Türkiye make eating out a luxury

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 2, 2024
Adjust font size:

Soaring cafe and restaurant prices in Türkiye's inflation-hit economic landscape are deterring discontent consumers from eating out as it has become a luxury for most.

"I cannot afford to buy myself a lunch every day, the prices in cafes and restaurants have skyrocketed," Yazgi Seckin, a university student, said in front of a cafe in Kizilay district.

Filled with numerous cafes and restaurants, Kizilay is a budget-friendly neighborhood that caters especially to students, although consumers still complain about high prices.

The average cost of a lunch meal in cafes, restaurants, or kebab shops is around 400 Turkish lira per person, while fine dining can cost more than triple this price.

Runaway inflation has had a devastating impact on the low and middle-income groups in Türkiye, causing a decline in their purchasing power in recent years.

Annual inflation stands currently at 68.5 percent and is expected to climb even further until June before dropping in the second half of this year, according to the government's disinflation program launched last year.

As inflation remains considerably high despite government measures, price-sensitive consumers have balked at higher prices and cut back on eating out.

Recently, thousands of people have called for a boycott of restaurants and cafes, accusing business owners of overpricing their menus and offering smaller servings.

The owners of cafes and restaurants said they are not responsible for the current high level of input costs, claiming that they too feel the pinch of the cost-of-living crisis.

Ramazan Bingol, head of Türkiye's largest restaurant association Tures, said on his X account last week that "citizens have the right to demand affordable prices, and we will discuss this issue with relevant officials."

On the weekend, the Turkish government issued a notification to restaurants and cafes cautioning against tax evasion, a move aimed at "preventing exploitation" of clients, Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on his X account on Saturday.

For one restaurateur, the costs of food prices, rent, and labor are driving prices up. Annual food and grocery inflation stands around 70 percent, according to the latest official figures released in early April.

"Prices have gone mainly because of wholesalers. They buy cheap from producers but inflate their prices when they sell it to businesses like mine, causing higher prices," Dincer Karadogu, the owner of a big cafe in Kizilay, told Xinhua.

He said that he had to cut back on the number of employees working in his shop, due to the increased wages for each employee on his payroll. He also complained about a spike in energy prices and taxes on small and medium-sized enterprises.

"This is an uphill battle for the industry. Inflation has impacted and disrupted the entire supply chain," Kizilay lamented. 

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from