harsh drop in consumption and increase in costs hits the gastronomic sector

harsh drop in consumption and increase in costs hits the gastronomic sector
harsh drop in consumption and increase in costs hits the gastronomic sector

As the months go by, the consumption drop it gets stronger and stronger. Thus, economic activity, according to Monthly Economic Activity Estimator (EMAE), registered a drop of 8.4% in April, compared to the same period the previous year. Although consumption declines are recorded in all areas, one of the most affected is the gastronomic, whichaccording to unofficial data, suffers a drop in consumption of between 25% and 30%, and some stores even had to close.

This occurs in a context in which it was seen a drop in the activity level of 5.3% in the first quarteraccording to him National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC). This is reflected in the fact that people they choose to eat out less and spend that money on things they consider more important or simply They cut back on departures, something common in times of crisis.

These behaviors, among others that people take to cut expenses, lead to negative data such as, for example, the retail sales index of the Argentine Confederation of Medium Enterprises (CAME)registered a 22.1% drop so far this year, and make it clear that the economic situation of Argentines is increasingly complex.

Furthermore, the Increases in food and service costs greatly complicate the situation for restaurant entrepreneurs in particular.which is one of the items that registers the greatest falls in consumption.

The fall in consumption in restaurants

According to him Consumption Indicator (IC) of the Argentine Chamber of Commerce and Services (CAC)in April, consumption suffered a year-on-year drop of 4.5%. And these numbers are reflected in reality through the voices of the protagonists of the gastronomic business.

One of them is Rudolphowner of a restaurant located in Buenos Aires neighborhood of Belgrano Rwho told Ambit What were the first months of the year like? He has been dedicated to the field for 25 years and assures that situations must be overcome with “intelligence and creativity“.

During his years of experience, he stated that he has acquired skills with which one try to maintain some profitability. “Those who are engaged in business They adapt to the context in which they live”. That is to say, they adjust their strategy according to the situation, especially in Argentina, “where one becomes more expert in handling storms“, he claimed.

And it is a country where crises are repeated and almost cyclical and with many frequent economic and political changes. That requires a faster ability to adapt to the average gastronomic merchant.

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Going out to eat is one of the first activities that people choose to stop doing when there is a crisis.

The owner of a pasta restaurant located in the northern area also shared his experience with this medium and his story coincides quite closely with Rodolfo’s. According to what he said, in his place, people changed their consumption and they began to order shared plates. In addition, the sale of wines and desserts decreased.

Both he and Rodolfo face the Javier Milei era as best they can, with the accumulated experience. “The president’s phrase was ‘There is no money’ and the people took that to heart“, Rodolfo launched regarding the drop in consumption in his restaurant and said that April was “very bad“, just like the entire semester.

“Obviously, The first thing you decide to cut back on is going out to eat and everything related to recreation. No, the boys’ school, nor the social work, nor the domestic expenses“, he explained. This means that fewer people go to his restaurant to consume, even though it is located in a neighborhood with high purchasing power. The crisis affects all social sectors.

Increase in services, another impact for restaurants

Furthermore, to the drop in billing is added the price increase in services, rent and Food, a critical item for the gastronomic business. “The food went to hell at first, although it later settled down.“said Rodolfo, and then assured that this issue is not as complex as that of services.

In relation to this, he said What have been the changes that you have had to implement to face the increases? in rates, especially in electricity. “Yes indeed increased exponentially and to save, one tries to change: invest in everything that involves low-consumption heating and air. The lamps, for example, were all replaced by LEDs,” he noted.

Restaurants: menu changes and suppliers due to increases

On the other hand, it implemented changes in suppliers and menu to adapt to increases in food. “When you know that the supplier is good, at the same price or a little more expensive, you usually keep it, but, if it already prices its products well above what you consider a ‘decent’ margin, there, most likely, to decide to change it,” he explained.

In the restaurant in the northern area, it is not enough to cut back on the use of services and adjust the number of employees, but the owner says that, “to cope with the increases in food, he had to increase menu prices and implement promotions. That is the way he found so that customers do not stop consuming at his premises.

Meanwhile, Rodolfo also had to use his creativity and decided to modify the menu based on what was available “reasonable prices“and that it is a practice that they have increased in the last moment. “The situation is really difficult, but hope for improvement is never lost.“, he stated.

Thus, the gastronomic entrepreneurs seek to adapt to the current crisis situation. The pandemic stage It was a great learning experience for the industry, since they were closed and used all the resources they could to continue existing. After that experience, there is no doubt that are in a position to face any crisis. “At that time, we didn’t know if there was going to be light at the end of the road. Income went to 0. Today we have greater certainty,” Rodolfo commented.

With this baggage on their backs, they face the current economic context, marked by rising costs and falling consumption. Without a doubt, a complex chapter in the history of any Argentine gastronomic entrepreneur.

Source: Ambito

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