Eating places in Saskatoon had their fill of inflation

From the cost of butter to lettuce, Saskatoon eating establishments are feeling the effects of inflation.

O’Shea’s Irish Pub is seeing inflated prices on everything from vegetable oil to takeout containers and coffee filters.

“It’s really difficult to be in the restaurant business,” said co-owner Daniel Ford Beavis.

He says vegetable oil has risen to four times what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Romaine lettuce used to be $34 a case, now he’s paying $178. Beavis uses the example that food costs should be around 30-40 per cent of a restaurant budget, now at O’Shea’s it makes up 50 to 60 per cent.

“There’s nothing where I can say ‘oh geez, that’s coming down,’ ” said Beavis.

Even as costs have risen, the pub has chosen to absorb the expenses instead of increasing their prices.

“We’re not really in a position where we want to transfer that off to the customers,” said Beavis. “We’ve just got to keep going and hope it all passes, and hope we can make it through.”

The Shoppe — which provides treats, coffee and juice — is feeling the same pinch.

For its baked goods it uses roughly 50 pounds of butter a day, which it says has increased by 1.5 times since the COVID-19 Pandemic hit.

“A stick of butter was $3 and now, they’re $6. That’s a significant increase,” said Ben Quarttrini, The Shoppe owner.

The store makes fresh orange juice in-house. It used to pay $26 for one box oranges, now it’s $62.

“We’re seeing increases up to 50 per cent and when you’re using hundreds of these products over the span of a week or a month it’s very substantial,” he said.

According to Hospitality Saskatchewan, some businesses could be having a tougher time than when the pandemic hit.

“I think that when we look at the expense reports on everybody’s ledger, there’s not a single line that hasn’t seen some sort of increase,” said Jim Bence, president of Hospitality Saskatchewan.

Both eating establishments CTV news spoke with say customers can help alleviate some of the inflation pressure by dining or ordering-in instead of through a third-party delivery service.  

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