Beer on a terrace about 10% more expensive than last year
With summer weather quickly approaching, Netherlands residents are looking forward to long afternoons spent on the terrace. Though they might be shocked at what drinks cost compared to last year. A beer on the terrace is about 10 percent more expensive than last summer, though prices vary per municipality, RTL Nieuws reports after surveying catering entrepreneurs.
John Paulus, the owner of the Forum and Paulus cafes in Maastricht, estimates the price increase for a beer on the terrace at about 10 percent. And other menu items have also become more expensive, he told the broadcaster. “It is very difficult to give a generic picture.” Cities are generally more expensive than smaller towns, and the classic brown bar will be more reluctant to raise prices than popular places.
According to Paulus, catering entrepreneurs don’t want to burden consumers with even higher costs, but they have little choice. “We feel we can’t really make it,” he said. Costs are spiraling out of control for many companies. According to Paulus, company expenses increased by 15 percent, but entrepreneurs only pass about half of it on to customers. “There is restraint, but margins are under pressure.”
And so, beer prices have increased to well above 3 euros at many catering establishments. Craft beer is even more expensive.
According to Paulus, many entrepreneurs are finding creative ways to ease the suffering of customers. For example, some deliberately keep the price of a portion of bitterballen lower in the hope that people will buy a drink with it. Others charge less for a bottle of wine.
Industry association KHN confirmed that entrepreneurs struggle to increase prices enough to stay afloat but not so much to scare off customers. Many catering entrepreneurs have less left on the bottom line, a spokesperson told RTL.
On Tuesday, Statistics Netherlands confirmed its initial estimation that inflation climbed to 6.1 percent in May, compared to a year earlier. That is higher than the 5.2 percent in April and 4.4 percent in March.
The prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco in the Netherlands were 4.1 percent higher than in May last year. But prices in the category restaurants, cafes, and dance halls increased by 7.9 percent.