Chef and owner of the restaurant “Aroma de Mar” in Lima He was confident that business would pick up this year, but his hopes were dashed.
“We have been the hardest hit sector in various crises,” Chef Roberto Madrid told AFP with regret. Peruvian Gastronomy It first suffered the negative effects of the pandemic and now from rising food prices, the sequel to the war in Ukraine.
Peruvian restaurants returned to full capacity on February 28, after operating with reduced capacity in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. But sales did not increase, but fell runaway inflation,
According to official figures, food prices in Peru increased by 5.88% over the past two months, the highest increase in three decades. Until the pandemic, inflation was around 2% per year.
Strong price increases hit the pockets of Peruvians and led to the hyperinflation of the 1980s.
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“there are people [clientes]But consumption has fallen by 20% or 30%,” Blanca Chavez, president of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Peru, told AFP.
“The situation is so sad, chaotic, I don’t know how to express my frustration,” he said, expressing his fear that many restaurants would lower their curtains.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, there were 220,000 restaurants in Peru in 2019. According to Chávez, with the pandemic they closed almost halfway.
According to the World’s 50 list, Lima has two of the ten best restaurants in the world: Central and Meadow. But every humble neighborhood has its own good restaurants too, as Peruvians of all social classes love to eat well.
in Miscellaneous Culinary Offerings Cebiche—raw marinated fish—, lomo saltado—beef with onions, french fries, and rice—, aji de gallina—fried chicken with thick cream—or
Papas a la huancaína – potatoes bathed in creamy cheese and chili sauce – accompany the famous pisco sour cocktail and a variety of Andean grains and seafood.
A plate of sebiche costs between nine and twelve dollars across Lima. In the case of lomo saltado and other delicacies, there are large price differences: it costs about $8 in the neighborhood, but twice as much in the tourist district of Miraflores.
Peruvian restaurants have raised prices on average by 2.93% this year, according to official figures. According to Chavez, many have avoided transferring the increase to the public so as not to lose more customers.
“Many restaurants have raised their prices and others have not raised them to keep their customers. profit margin is minimal“, he says.
Madrid indicates that a family that used to go to the restaurant once a week “now only does so once a month, because the economic crisis is affecting all homes and all pockets.”
Limenos admits that it is now more difficult to go out to eat.
“My children and my brother-in-law brought me here ‘Panchita’, [pero] He made, as they say, a ‘little piggy bank’ [colecta] To come,” retired doctor Luis Rivera Prada told AFP while celebrating his 73rd birthday at this famous Miraflores venue.
“We’ve cut taste. Previously, we used to go out of work to celebrate, not anymore. That’s all in the past,” says businessman Lourdes Weller Gallegos, 38, at the same restaurant of famed chef Gaston Acurio.
,Because of the cost, we are able to come only once a month.”Dentistry student Marcelo Huamani, 21, tells AFP he shares a plate of ceviche with his mother at the “Aroma de Mar” in Brena, a working-class municipality.
“they will continue to close”
“Restaurants sell more than in 2020, but our profitability is negative due to conditions such as war, price hikes, political instability and contamination of our seas due to the Repsol issue,” says Javier, leader of the Restaurant Association of Sailors from Peru Vargas.
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An oil spill at sea on January 15, attributed by Spanish oil company Repsol to waves caused by an earthquake in Tonga, left hundreds of artisanal fishermen unable to work, reducing supplies and raising fish and shellfish prices. . ,
“Hydrobiological products have increased 100%. We do not want to increase [los precios de] Our letters because our customers are leaving. If this continues, restaurants will continue to close,” Vargas told AFP.