Price increase, quality decrease

By Stosie Madi, chef-patron of the Parkers Arms

- Last updated on GMT

Blue Monday: Parkers Arms chef-patron Stosie Madi ponders why quality from suppliers is allowed to fall while prices remain high
Blue Monday: Parkers Arms chef-patron Stosie Madi ponders why quality from suppliers is allowed to fall while prices remain high

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It is uncanny how product quality has decreased and prices have increased.

When dealing with all the hikes that affect our operational costs from suppliers across the board while trying to eke some sort of profit during these harsh times, one would have imagined the least we could expect from manufacturers is that product quality would be maintained.

Sadly this is not the case.

Take blue roll, for example, a crucial element of our industry, once a strong, super absorbent item now reduced to a flimsy thin wisp of tissue that sticks to surfaces and crockery rendering it a useless waste of money. Not only has the quality suffered it is now almost the size of a large toilet roll for triple the price we paid for it three years ago.

We have to be consistent 

We, as an industry, apply consistency to our product. Our customers are used to a certain quality of food and well kept ales. Were we to serve them anything different to what we promise, we would certainly soon find ourselves with empty tables and no money in our tills.

When we complain to our suppliers, we are fobbed off with excuses about it being the signs of our times and a whole bunch of random nonsense. Things are too expensive (yes we know) and it’s all to do with importation of raw materials and labour (well obviously – we all know it has all gone up). The same applies to what we do but the difference is the hospitality industry is not allowed to have any excuses for substandard products.

We deal with poor manufacturing, greedy suppliers, morbid media rants about weather patterns, wars and now recession.

Regardless, we still have to find a way to make our customers keep coming back. We cannot hide behind excuses or claim it is not our fault. Why is it that other industries can get away with a shoddy product at a price hike?

The hospitality industry always has to take the knocks on the chin because… yes, we are hospitality.

Making profit is difficult enough

In days of old, this was ‘doable’. We knew you got what you paid for. Top quality for top dollar or reasonable money for standard reliable quality, and you charged adequately for customers that expected it. These days it’s top dollar for low quality across the board. There is not much middle ground.

Making profit is difficult enough. Dealing with poor produce from what where once reliable suppliers is quite frankly unacceptable.

I yearn for the days of old when blue roll was thick and hardy, and would last a whole service.

To be honest, if we read between the lines, this applies to all factors in our industry. Despite the deep fear of what is round the corner in the spring, I am going to try to stay positive and keep up the search for the best blue roll I can find on the market and, dear reader, should you know of any good brand out there, please drop me a line.

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