In Campinas, restaurants and customers adopt strategies to circumvent inflation

At a time when fuel prices are constantly being readjusted and the value of the basic food basket already exceeds the minimum wage, the population needs to adopt the most different strategies and resort to creativity in order to survive. This situation is no different in food establishments, where restaurants change menus, offer different buffets and even reduce meal ingredients so as not to have to pass on to the consumer the frequent rise in inflation.

A restaurant located near the Metropolitan Cathedral of Campinas, for example, chose to offer two different buffets so as not to lose customers. One of them, which costs R$ 14.90, has rice, beans, vegetables, salads, fruits, dessert and even caipirinha at will. Another, which includes meat and pasta, costs R$6.99 for every 100 grams placed on the plate.

“With this, we can make a more affordable price for the population of Campinas. The idea is to bring that comfort, make the population eat well and manage not to spend so much. Also because we know that no one’s situation is easy. way as a way to dribble the crises”, said the manager of the restaurant, Everton Dias.

A little further down, Wagner Brito de Oliveira, who owns a restaurant in the central region, said that he had to readjust the price of lunchboxes a little, but that even so, today they gain in sales volume compared to the dishes served in the own restaurant. He also made several changes to the buffet so he wouldn’t have to pass on the constant price hikes to the consumer.

“We had a decrease in varieties, but not in quality, but I had to readjust the prices. Before I had ribeye, today it’s a soft mattress. Previously, I made a lasagna and used it much colder, today it has to be less. I offered fish every day, but today I changed it to three times a week. I had three types of pasta, today there are two, and so on. But we didn’t send any employees away and I’m also very proud of that. We now reach 70% of the public that had before the pandemic,” he said.

For Matheus Mason, president of the Brazilian Association of Bars and Restaurants (Abrasel) of the Metropolitan Region of Campinas (RMC), restaurants adopt strategies to transfer part of the inflation to the price of the dish and also change the way the meal is served to customers. , modifying sizes, decreasing or increasing protein, vegetables, legumes, etc.

“Food inflation is very impactful and is squeezing profit margins. Restaurants are not able to pass on all these increases. A readjustment is even applied, but at a value below inflation. be only at the expense, such as weighing proteins separately from the rest of the ingredients of the dish. They also changed the cut of meats, such as flank steak and breast, and before it was sirloin”, said the president.

The higher prices of restaurants make some people choose to eat a snack, which costs on average R$12, accompanied by a soft drink. This is the case of two friends who stopped for lunch at a hot dog cart on Avenida Francisco GlicĂ©rio. “The cost is lower than eating at a restaurant, it’s also faster. I live here in the Center and he doesn’t, but whenever he comes, we opt for a snack. In addition to the lower price, it’s also delicious, so we thinks it’s worth it compared to the dishes in a restaurant,” said 26-year-old audiovisual producer Lucas Rodrigues.

For seller Lucas Alves Mota, 22, always eating at the mall, his place of work, raises the cost, so when he has the opportunity to eat something cheaper, like a hot dog, he chooses that option. “It’s a way to pay less, to eat something different. And certainly eating in a restaurant is now more expensive than having a snack on the street,” he said.

The gastronome and consultant in the food and beverage area, Aline Vettori, said that creativity and innovation are inherent to gastronomy, from the lowest to the highest. Reinventing ourselves in times of crisis is part of the process to keep us standing, whether knowing the seasonality of products, understanding the market without losing quality, to keep offering good products to the final consumer.

“What keeps the area’s wealth is precisely this: knowing the technical bases, the ‘seri na nos 30’ ends up becoming part of our routine. for establishments that, in addition to purchasing inputs, have all fixed expenses such as water, electricity, rent and staff costs, and the transfer of the price to the final consumer is not always so simple”, he explained.

For Aline, the crucial point for any menu or service adaptation is to know the place and the clientele well to continue serving: the reduction of options in the buffet can be an alternative, as well as its segmentation, but never failing to offer varied options to the customer. client. “With the high price of proteins, offering the option of meats apart from the buffet price seems to be a good option, as the customer himself ends up opting in his day to day to reduce consumption. , avoiding high expenses and possible waste”, he analyzed.

The master in Production Engineering and professor of Political Economy and Markets at Faculdade Arnaldo Janssen, Alexandre Miserani, said that this would be a natural path, since the entire production chain has adapted so as not to pass on the problems caused by current inflation in the final price. country, in addition to the employment crisis itself.

“As food companies have readapted packaging and reduced quantities to try to maintain product prices, restaurants have also had to adapt to deal with rising food prices. there is a way to fully pass on the high costs of food and the replacement of stocks in the restaurants. Thus, the way out is to remodel the offers, distinguishing prices”, he analyzed.

In addition, the specialist also evaluates from the customer’s point of view and understands that there may be a precariousness in the products offered. He warns that, with the new high in fuel prices, the situation will not improve in the near future. Therefore, either there is a re-adaptation of the menu or the prices of meals will rise again.

“I see that there is certainly a precariousness in the substitution of products to try to adapt to the increase in prices. We know that this tends to worsen with the rise in fuel prices, since the distribution of products will tend to become more expensive. There is no other alternative to keep the business but to readapt menus, prioritize seasonal vegetables and seek to optimize menus and prices”, he concluded.

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