Pizza prices are rising in New York City due to an awful combination of rising food costs, worldwide supply-chain issues, and a national labor shortage. The price hikes are shocking the city’s pizza enthusiasts.
Slone Elias, a customer at 2 Bros. Pizza on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood said, “It’s a little bit scary at times. Eventually, it’s going to reflect in rising food prices at every restaurant.”
The New York Post reports, 2 Bros. Pizza promotes $1.50 slices of pizza on a sidewalk menu board directly beneath its iconic bright red banner proclaiming “$1 Pizza.”
The restaurant’s co-founder, Oren Halali, said, “Inflation is affecting every single ingredient, every single item we use. Flour, cheese, tomatoes, gloves, paper goods, paper plates, napkins, everything. Labor is definitely up, as well.”
Take-out restaurants are now paying up to $20 per hour for counter staff and dishwashers, far more than the state’s $15 minimum wage. Restaurant consultant and pizza fan Dara Pollak noted, “Staffing is near impossible in restaurants right now. I don’t think any [eatery] is in a great place.”
Owner of Mona Lisa Pizzeria on Staten Island, Lenny Giordano, echoed the sentiments on the rising costs of everything.
He stated, “Our profit margin goes down every day. We’re trying not to scare people away with higher prices. If we raise prices according to rising food costs going up, we’ll soon have no customers walking through the door.”
A plain slice at Mona Lisa has gone from $2.25 to $2.75, a 22% increase in the last year. A cheese pizza has climbed from $15 to $18, an increase of 20%.
These significant hikes are still considerably below the pressure Giordano says he’s feeling from suppliers. Not every business can absorb the rising costs. Giordano says that three neighborhood restaurants close to his establishment have recently shuttered.
According to a September survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association’s Pizza Industry Council, 97% of casual-dining establishments have experienced food and beverage shortages or delivery delays in recent months, 81% have had to change their menus, and 88% reported profit margins lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Restaurants are also dealing with a significant increase in energy costs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of gas used to power pizza ovens has increased by 20.6% in the last year.
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