Just when we didn’t think the hospitality sector could be hit harder, a perfect storm has arrived, and the Chamber’s Food and Agri Network becomes even more important, for local business. Changes to the minimum wage; changes to superannuation; higher energy and gas costs; higher leases (if the lease is tied to CPI); massive increases to raw produce some – week on week increases of 5 to 200% and lower discretionary spend for customers due to higher cost of living.

Harder times off the back of hard times – it is potentially a gloomy outlook for one of our most loved sectors.

With food wholesale prices moving each week, operators are under constant pressure to be across their true food cost.  This is stressful as if cost is out of kilter, it simply means you are going broke faster.  We suggest you consider programs that give you a live food cost for each menu line.

Food and Agri Network Chronicle Article 25 July 22

We can’t change the basic wage or superannuation. We also can’t ask farmers to reduce their prices. But we can put our case forward to governments, landlords and energy companies about unreasonable fees, regulations, and charges.

Let us know your thoughts of what we can do, our directive comes from our members.

Tough Decisions for the Food and Agri Businesses

In the context the current environment, hospitality businesses have tough decisions to make.  Decisions like:

  • increasing weekend surcharge and public holiday surcharges to reflect high pay rates on the weekend;
  • passing on card surcharging where your merchant fees to the customer;
  • reverting back to table ordering which normally nets a higher average ticket than traditional table service;
  • implementing or reimplementing delivery services to optimise down times;
  • considering the development of a ghost kitchen and develop a new brand;
  • revisiting your sales matrix and drop dishes that have lower than 2%; and
  • reconsidering dishes that are no longer feasible, their composition, price and ultimately, should it be removed for now.

As the challenges come thick and fast, combined with the real potential of new COVID rules being applied, we need to be supporting our local hospitality business, more than ever before.  

We urge the Toowoomba community to support these businesses as they confront these hard decisions, in an environment not of their making.

And we also urge the hospitality sector to help us, get you noticed.

Food and Agri Network partnership with Dine Darling Downs

The Food and Agri Network initiative to power and partner with Dine Darling Downs, with an incredible 8000 plus followers is one way to get noticed.  We often see a single post on Dine Darling Downs social media have incredible results: bakeries sell out, restaurants are fully booked, and enquiries go through the roof. It’s fantastic and I strongly urge all hospitality operators to join Dine Darling Downs and work smarter not harder!

If feels like “the perfect storm” and is difficult right now.  Get in touch with us at Chamber. We can’t fix everyone’s problems, but we can connect you to people who will advise, guide, and support you. And we can outline your concerns to government.

For more information, email the Toowoomba Chamber at admin@toowoombachamber.com.au

Food and Agri Network

A Toowoomba Chamber Advisory Committee, set up to support the Food and Agriculture Sectors.

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