Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket

Фото: JOtruba CC BY 3.0

Czechs on average spend more on food than anything else apart from housing, and it’s now rare – if not impossible – to find even a lunch special for less than 100 crowns, the daily Echo24 reports.

Svíčková | Photo: JOtruba,  Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY 3.0
According to data from Storyous, which supplies cash register systems to restaurants, meal prices are rising across the board along with ever dearer the raw supplies.

“Overall, prices for raising livestock have increased by over 5 percent compared to last year, and this is obviously reflected in rising food prices in restaurants,” Storyous director Igor Treslin is quoted as saying.

According to the latest Czech Statistical Office data, fruit prices are up by almost 40 percent year-on-year, while pork and potatoes – staples in the traditional national diet – are up by more than 25 percent and almost 60 percent, respectively, while overall vegetable prices grew by one-third.

A classic lunch in a Prague restaurant now costs on average of 136.90 crowns, not including drinks. While meals are still cheaper outside of the capital, prices are rising faster in the regions.

In Ostrava, for example, the average meal goes for 113.7 crowns, a rise of 7.6 percent year-on-year. Similar increases have been registered in regional capitals such as Ústí nad Labem, Pilsen and Karlovy Vary.

According to analysts, the average Czech now spends more than 54,000 crowns a year on food. While prices remain among the lowest in the European Union in nominal terms, food represents a much higher share of income than in other EU countries.

“But it’s not just about rising food prices,” Treslin says. “Over the past few years, rent, energy and, of course, labour have also become significantly more expensive. All this factors into the price of food in restaurants.”

Of the 173 types of food for which the Czech Statistical Office monitors prices every month, 42 percent have risen above average on a year-to-July basis, i.e. more than food inflation is now.

Czech inflation overall stagnated in annual terms in October, in line with market estimates and just slightly below the central bank forecast. For the whole year, it will reach 2.8 percent – the highest figure since 2012, according to ING Think.