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Thursday, February 2, 2023

‘You’ve no choice but to raise prices’: why the €20 main course is off the menu

Restaurants are in a bind. Energy bills are rising just as inflation eats into customers’ spending power. Many have been forced to increase their prices — and the days of the €20 main course are over, according to one leading chef. Offering a quality meat or fish main course for that price is “impossible”, says Gareth “Gaz” Smith, who runs three busy restaurants in south Co Dublin and has just won a major international award for his cookbook And For Mains.

espite having a large, loyal customer base, he says he is far from immune from the pain being felt in his industry. Escalating costs and more price-conscious consumers mean the run-up to Christmas this year is an especially challenging one for hospitality.

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