Here in the UK, we are treating ourselves to dinner out in a way that we never have before. We are appreciating the value of good food in great company at unprecedented levels, but are we paying too much of our hard-earned money for this experience?
The Danes come out on top in survey after survey as the Happiest Nation. They put the reasoning down to “Hygge” – comfort of the soul, self-indulging. and treating oneself in the company of loved ones. In a fast-paced, stressed-out world, we are all looking for refuge, time out, and an evening away from the cooker with those who are important to us. But with so many of us feeling the pinch, are we choosing our diners well?
The Average Spend
With more of us eating out and the need to keep a handle on our budget, chains are popping up on every corner. In a recent poll, the average family weekly spending on dining out is £45.10.
With many commercial catering suppliers such as https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/ offering everything a corporation needs to host its own office parties, will this be the future to avoid all those high mark-ups?
It is not cheap to run a restaurant by any means. There are business rates, taxes, staff, rent, and of course produce. Is the mark-up fair, or are we paying too much? Which? recently declared 167 per cent to be the average bottle of wine mark-up. The BBC has an interesting article on the reasons that restaurants give for such large mark-ups on wine.
If you think that this is bad, you will be surprised to learn the mark-up figures on some of the most popular dishes in our best-loved chains. Be aware that these figures are an estimation; it is impossible to be exact because we cannot tell, for example, the price at which a restaurant is buying its wholesale produce. The figures will give you an overall idea, however.
Sweet fries, £3.95. Ingredients cost, £1.29. 206 per cent mark-up.
Spaghetti Carbonara, £10.53. Ingredients cost, £1.53. 586 per cent mark-up.
Sirloin Steak Chilli Ramen, £13.50. Ingredients cost, £5.82. 132 per cent mark-up.
Margherita Bufala Pizza, £13.50. Ingredients cost, £3.98. 280 per cent mark-up.