Sandwich Shock: Food Prices Creep Up on Menus

Tuesday, Apr 5, 2011  |  Updated 12:46 PM EDT
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Sandwich Shock: Food Prices Creep Up on Menus

Food prices are creeping up on menus around town.

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You may need more money for lunch today -- the effects of rising wholesale food prices are now showing up on restaurant menus across the city.

The Wall Street Journal reports that sandwich chain 'wichcraft has raised its price of a bag of chips and a turkey sandwich, while chic eatery Per Se has quietly raised its prix fixe price from $275 to $295.

Casual Israeli eatery Hoomoos Asli in Nolita also recently started charging a "vegetable shortage" surcharge on eggplant dishes.

The Journal reports that wholesale food prices rose 3.9 percent in February, according to the U.S. Labor Department. It is the largest monthly increase since 1974. Rising fuel costs and commodities prices, along with inclement weather, have contributed to the spike.

"Every way I turn, left or right, whether it's produce, milk, coffee -- it's up," Peter Boyiakis, a supervisor at Fresh & Co., told the Journal. "We know that the environment and the economy are bad, and we have to do what we have to do to keep our margins where they are."

Per Se's general manager Anthony Rudolf said the $20 prix fixe incraese -- the first since 2008 -- was due to overall rising costs, with "food being the most substantial."

Jeffrey Zurofsky, a 'wichcraft partner, told the paper that the restaurant group raised the price of some items but lowered others. He said prices are 2.1 percent higher on average.

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