Chip shops turn to air fryers as price of cooking oil soars

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Restaurant bosses have reported being forced to swallow particularly steep prices for cooking oil in recent weeks, with Mr Dogus saying a 20-litre tin had soared in price from £16 to £48. Deep-frying dishes also can be more energy-intensive, meaning restaurants are having to spend more on their utility bills. 

Pressure is rising across the restaurant industry, although those which rely heavily on oil are most at risk. Mr Dogus said it was “not the same if you’re a kebab shop, or an Italian takeaway”. 

Estimates suggest that one in three fish and chip shops could collapse within the next six months, if rising costs do not level off soon.

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However, there are nonetheless challenges to the rise of the air fryer.

 Andrew Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, said the process may work for french fries but thick cut British chips are more of a challenge to cook through.

He said the group is instead teaching businesses how to make their oil last longer by managing it better as well as using technology which could absorb impurities for oil.

It comes as restaurants battle to keep costs lower and avoid passing rises through to customers.

Mr Dogus, whose umbrella group represents takeaway giants such as Just Eat, said many restaurant bosses had already raised their prices to cope with inflation, but further price increases could be on the horizon. 

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He said: “I also run a couple of small restaurants, and we put up our prices about a month ago, hoping that this will keep us going for the whole year. But the prices of ingredients have gone up again and one of our kebab dishes, for example, we’re making at a loss, so we’ll have to put that price up in a week or so.”

Meat and fish prices, in particular, have been pushed sky-high in recent weeks, prompting pub bosses to start making switches on their menus.

Earlier this week the chief executive of Young’s, one of Britain’s largest pub chains, said the company was swapping out chicken for pork and salmon for trout because of steep prices, and was tracking ingredients on a daily basis.

Marston’s, meanwhile, said it had made its menus smaller in an effort to cope with rampant inflation.



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