The current lunch needs no introduction. They may call it the menu of the day or the executive menu, but in essence it is the same: a menu with protein, carbohydrates, salad, soup and juice. A more economical option for workers and citizens who have to eat lunch outside home every day. Today, this menu is on average 11% more expensive than its price in 2023.
The calculations are from the Colombian Association of the Gastronomic Industry (Ecodress). The association said that today in specific areas and neighborhoods of the capital of Antioquia, The average price of a lunch is between $15,000 and $20,000. More expensive than the Bogotá range, where it ranges between $12,000 and $18,000.
According to Henrique Gomez, executive president of Ecodress, recent years have been challenging for restaurant owners due to high levels of inflation and increases in raw materials. In fact, he indicated that these businesses They suffered a 27% decline in sales, but for Medellin it was only 6%.
But why? For Gomez, Medellin’s better performance is due to the greater presence of foreign tourists, who have a greater ability to pay than local consumers.
However, The same presence of visitors from other countries can influence the increase in prices in highly touristy areas of Medellín. “Raising prices for tourists can be a temptation for businessmen,” Gomez said, however, he clarified that the main reason for price changes is inflation, a disease inherited from the pandemic, which has also hit restaurant owners. Has influenced.
Diana Marcela Vélez, owner of a cafeteria and restaurant that bears her name and is located in the 12 de Octubre neighborhood, began delivering lunch at home in her neighborhood., She told neighbors and close friends about her micro-business, who sought her out for her affordable prices and good seasoning in food.
It went so well that they soon rented a space in the area and started with a few tables at which not only their friends were seated, but also new faces to taste their dishes. Until the pandemic hit and the headaches began: She was forced to close the doors of her business that had just begun.
In 2022, the world turns its way again and Diana reopens her business. Today, it employs four people And expresses that he does not want to close again, which is why he had to raise his prices this year: “Everything is too expensive and I have to maintain the business without firing any employees.”
This time, His establishment sells Coriantazo 13.3% more expensive than last year, as it is now priced at $17,000 and last year it was priced at $15,000.
This variation matches the Dane report. The entity revealed that annual inflation for restaurants and hotels in 2023 was 13.2%, 4 points higher than the general average, which closed at 9.2%. This means, in simple terms, restaurants will drive up the cost of living in 2023.
and why is that? According to Ecodress, the situation is due to the fact that restaurants were forced to increase prices seven times in 2022 and 10 times in 2023. As inputs have become more expensive.
That was the case of the Macondo restaurant. This business originated from the love of cooking for Natalia Gutierrez, who is a lawyer by profession, but she fulfilled her desire to open not only one restaurant, but had eight restaurants in Medellin until the pandemic hit and they downsized. Four remained.
Today, it is managed by Natalia’s son Vicente Uribe. macondo It has a presence in shopping centers such as Oviedo, Mayorca, Fábricato and San Nicolás. The daily menu cost $17,500 last year, an adjustment of 5.7%.
Uribe admits that the situation forced them to raise the price twice in 2022, once in February and the second in October, resulting in a final adjustment of about 18% in prices for the end consumer. In 2023, the increase was smaller, 14%.
As expressed by this association, they are getting less income due to these constant changes in inputs., Macondo was no exception and its sales closed last year down 26%.
No surprise if we remember that 2022 ended Annual inflation in the food and non-alcoholic beverages category is 27.8%. Today, this figure is declining and in December last year it ended at 5%. The good news is that this year is looking better for restaurants.
After surveying different areas of Medellin, it must be said that the most comfortable price Was able to track down EL Colombiano who was in the Jose Maria Villa retail plaza in the center. Especially on the table of María Martínez, owner of the El Buen Gusto establishment.
Workers in the area go to Martínez restaurants because they can buy a good lunch for only $11,000. Last year its price was $9,000, which means it increased by 22.2%.
further west, In San Cristóbal, prices for a home-cooked lunch range between $13,000 and $16,000, Depends on installation. Like in other popular areas manrique There are restaurants that offer lunch from $16,000. There are rates on Facebook pages that go as high as $14,000.
The truth is that prices in Medellín are diverse, almost always the area and the cost of the premises influence the price for the final consumer. In fact, a search conducted by this newspaper found that the most expensive streams are in El Poblado; Which resulted in greater financial pressure on those who had to support themselves in that area of the capital of Antioquia.