Restaurant boss warns price of dining out could ‘soar’ in coming months

Hugh Osmond said he expects higher prices to last ‘for months’

Laura Hampson
Sunday 29 May 2022 15:33 BST
<p>The former CEO of Pizza Express says the cost of some products has risen by 30 per cent </p>

The former CEO of Pizza Express says the cost of some products has risen by 30 per cent

Restaurateur Hugh Osmond has said the price of dining out could “soar” in the coming months as the UK continues to face a cost of living crisis. The former chief executive of Pizza Express explained that some food product costs had risen by as much as 30 per cent.

He added that he expects these higher costs to last “for months” and he predicts food and drink inflation to reach as much as 10 per cent at his restaurants. Osmond, who founded Punch Taverns, said: “It’s a big problem and it’s going to hit food [across all categories].”

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Osmond said that the cost of buying chicken and fish from suppliers had gone “bonkers”. He added that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had contributed to the price rises, and supply-chain disruption had added further hurdles.

The chief executive of UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, has previously said that the average price of a main meal from a restaurant rose by £1.50 in April. She added that restaurants were facing a “toxic cocktail of costs”.

Earlier this week, a pub owner revealed how he had lived on £1 per day for five days to highlight the struggles of those worst affected by the cost of living crisis. Craig Harker, 35, from Stockton-on-Tees, said he wanted to draw attention to the fact that many people are “not living, but surviving”.

The father of three added that he was used to spending £200 per week on groceries, but set himself the challenge of feeding himself for just £1 a day.

To cut back, Harker went without meat and dairy products, and instead stocked up on carbs and free sauces from fast-food chains.

During the week, he ate porridge sachets, rice and curry sauce, spaghetti bolognese, and jacket potatoes, and drank cups of tea.

“I cut back on everything I really liked this week, and went into complete survival mode – no one should have to live like that,” he said at the end of his experiment.

“It is more about the debate [for] society – we need to make sure the most vulnerable people, who have the least amount of income, are supported,” he added.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in