Food prices hit pubs again

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Further evidence emerged this week of spiralling food costs hitting pubs. The Office of National Statistics has announced an 8.4% rise in average...

Further evidence emerged this week of spiralling food costs hitting pubs.

The Office of National Statistics has announced an 8.4% rise in average food prices in the past 12 months. The figure is up 1% on two months ago when the MA reported an inflation-busting rise on food prices across the board.

Operators told the MA this week that spiralling beef costs were hitting particularly hard - London operator Young's said it has taken beef fillet off the menu at some sites as a result. The current ban on most Brazilian beef has had a marked effect.

Some operators are having to absorb costs in a bid to hold onto customers in an increasingly competitive market.

Young's catering and development manager Paul Jefferys says: "We've noticed a 10% to 15% increase over the last six months. Prices are creeping up and we're rationalising our product range and menus to try and combat this. The price of beef fillet has rocketed recently and we've had to take it off some menus."

A survey from Menurama of prices at top branded food outlets found managed operators including Whitbread and Mitchells & Butlers have reduced average main course prices year-on-year, despite the spiralling costs.

The continuing rises have been blamed on rising feed and fuel costs, extreme weather and rising demand for food across the world.

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