Edmonton restaurants forced to adapt to high food prices amid global supply chain disruption
Some Edmonton-area restaurants are feeling the effects the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the global supply chain.
As food prices rise, some restaurateurs are forced to pass those increases onto consumers.
"It affects us the same way it affects people at the grocery store," Chartier sous-chef Travis Golbeck told CTV News Edmonton. "We are seeing an increase in prices and we are seeing a decline in the availability of products."
The sous-chef for the Beaumont, Alta., French restaurant said over the last three years, the cost of flour has jumped 40 per cent and butter 12 per cent. The price of buckwheat has quadrupled in price this week alone.
"We use canola oil in our fryers, that’s a wonderful, beautiful Alberta product," he said. "Six months ago we were paying $33 for 20 litres and now we’re paying $55 for 20 litres in six months."
Over at Simply Supper, a frozen meal business in Edmonton, you'll find a similar story.
"Sometimes they send the price increases to me and I think they’re joking," owner Monita Chapman said. "It’s so unprecedented and so extreme that you just honestly don’t even believe it but it is true."
Chapman told CTV News Edmonton prices are the highest she's seen in 15 years.
"The supply chain just seems so disrupted that we can’t get our hands on the product that we need," she said. "It’s going up in some cases by $10 or $15 dollars for a case of something."
One expert says transportation costs, weather events and global staffing shortages are to blame.
"We are going to see some of that cost being carried on to us as consumers," said Heather Thomson from the Alberta School of Business.
Raising prices was something Chapman said she didn’t want to do, but felt she had no choice.
"For a family of four you’re going to see about $1 to $1.50 increase on our meals."
Meanwhile, Chartier has taken a slightly different approach by developing a new menu.
"Be really creative in the ingredients that we’re using and to use simple ingredients but to change them in beautiful wonderful ways to make the food elevated to make it something you couldn’t get at home," said Golbeck.
Thomson said consumers can expect the trend of high commodity prices to continue for some time.
"I think this is something we’re going to be looking for well into the holiday season and into 2022."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson