After a year of unprecedented food inflation, which increased the cost of everything from flowers to chocolates to dining out, this Valentine’s Day is expected to be different.
According to Kantar, Britons paid a record 16.7% more for food in the four weeks ending January 22 than they did the previous year.This was due to supply chain bottlenecks from the COVID era and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Romantic dinners for two will thus be more expensive, and eateries are changing their menus to appeal to diners on a tight budget. A three-course set menu featuring “a prosecco and raspberry mimosa, heart-shaped dough balls, and a main, such as our Padana, with creamy goat’s cheese and delicious caramelised onions” was presented by the British restaurant chain PizzaExpress last year. The advertisement for the dinner read, “Will the Triple Salted Caramel Cheesecake tickle your fancy?” It cost £23.95 ($29) per person.PizzaExpress is promoting a “love bundle” comprising a starter and a “classic” pizza for 15 pounds this year, which is a little less spectacular.
The cost of eating out in restaurants increased by 9.4% in December compared to last year, according to the most recent figures from the British Office of National Statistics.
Other costs for date nights increased as well, including transportation, childcare, and everything from flowers to movie tickets. People had to pay 10.7% more for chocolate as a result of price increases by corporations including Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ), Nestle, and Lindt.
Graphic: A cost-of-living dilemma during Valentine’s Day https://www.reuters.com/graphics/EUROPE-INFLATION/dwvkdeymypm/chart.png
The country’s shops are attempting to profit, maintaining
In an effort to draw diners away from restaurants, they kept the rates for their Valentine’s Day meal deals steady.
A starter, main, two sides, drink, and dessert are included in a 15-pound package available from Morrisons. The company announced that beginning February 11, its members will receive a pound off a dozen fresh red roses.In Britain, the cost of flowers increased 6.2% in December.
Tesco’s Valentine’s Day dinner for two has been reduced from 15 pounds to 12 pounds this year.This includes a main course, a side dish, a dessert, and a drink. Tesco’s CEO recently observed that consumers are moving away from eating out.
In order to provide 15-pound “emergency bundles” containing a three-course meal, drinks, and gifts with free delivery in some areas of East London, Sainsbury’s has partnered with Uber Eats (NYSE:UBER).
According to Chris Beckett, head of stock analysis at investment firm Quilter Cheviot, “it’s an opportunity for the supermarkets to promote their premium ranges to those who wouldn’t typically buy them.” “That might result in future repeat purchases.”
This year, even diners with larger wallets will have to spend more.
The four-course set Valentine’s menu at London’s Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant cost 395 pounds per person this year, up from 325 pounds the previous year. The restaurant’s advertisement boasts “breathtaking” interiors with “spectacular garland chandeliers and romantic twinkling candlelight all reflected in the mirrored panels.”
Each year, the package came with a glass of Barons de Rothschild “Ritz Reserve” Rosé NV Champagne and a dish designed by Executive Chef John Williams, a Member of the Order of the British Empire at the Ritz.
A similar pattern has emerged throughout other parts of Europe.
For instance, the five-star Paris hotel Le Bristol is charging over 2,190 euros ($2,338) for its “seductive package” this year, which includes a one-night stay, late check-out, a “gastronomic supper for two,” chocolate, and a bottle of champagne. A comparable experience last year cost 1,090 euros.
An inquiry for comment was not answered by The Ritz or Le Bristol.