Restaurants determined to keep prices down as cost of living soars
- Credit: Cara Green/Archant/AW PR
Restaurants in the Fakenham and Wells area remain determined to keep prices down after warnings the soaring cost of living may put people off eating out.
Owners have reported mixed fortunes amid fears that big bills for food, energy and fuel may deter customers from treating themselves.
UK consumer spending growth slowed in January to 7.4pc compared with the same month in 2020, according to figures from Barclaycard - the smallest rise since April 2021.
Cara Green, co-owner of Sands in Wells, said: “We are fully booked for a private function on Valentine's Day. It is lovely to be fully booked up and the night looking like something pre-pandemic.
“We are trying to keep our prices down but are struggling with some of the wines as the prices keep increasing to us.
“Over the next month, we have plenty of weekend bookings. Hopefully, it picks up again on weekdays during Easter.
“We have some customers that have booked quite far in advance for a window table. I have bookings for August, September and even Christmas Day.”
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Siobhan Peyton, co-owner of Sculthorpe Mill, said bookings were strong, but the restaurant is currently looking at its product list.
She said: “Wine suppliers' prices have gone up by 11pc, so that is going to filter through. Most of the increases will come through the middle of this month and we have no choice.
“Prices will go up, but we are reviewing our product list, as it's important to us that we are accessible.
“It's not our policy to do a blanket increase. We want to stay competitive and offer our customers something for every price point.
“I think people won’t stop coming out but will spend differently.”
Mujibur ‘Diego’ Rahman, manager of Fakenham Tandoori, said a low number of bookings was due to several factors.
"People will have to spend wisely; it’s getting really tough for everyday people,” he said.
“I also think Covid continues to play a hidden role. People are still hesitant because of the last 18 months.
“Bookings are quiet so far. There is not a lot anyone can do, but hope and pray there is a solution because if it continues there will be huge poverty.
He added: "We may have no option but to increase eventually, but for the time being it’s all the same."