Ralf Patzelt from the “Grüntal” restaurant in Neustadt near Coburg draws up invoices that vividly show what healthy management in the catering trade should actually look like. But anchoring that in people’s minds is “very difficult”.

Natascha and Ralf Patzelt have been running the “Grüntal” restaurant in Neustadt near Coburg for 13 years. The descriptions by Ralf Patzelt in an interview with inFranken.de show the uncertainties and financial challenges that are now shaping everyday gastronomy.

What guests take for granted is not easy to wear. This included the prices on the menu, which, according to the landlord, should actually be much higher.

The unpredictable price fluctuations of the ingredients are one of the difficulties. Two weeks ago, Patzelt bought deer leg for about 14 euros, so he wrote an offer for a celebration, but the price has increased by 50 percent in the meantime.

“How should we deal with it?” The price of goose breast has doubled. “With my calculations, I would have to offer them for 30 euros,” says the trained chef. According to the website, the prices for meat dishes are currently between 11.80 and 28 euros.

It gets even more drastic when he includes the working hours: “If we were to pay our employees the wages that someone who works in shifts and at weekends in industry gets, I would be almost at 30 euros – without material.”

Assuming that the hourly wage in the restaurant is 40 euros, then the guest would have to calculate 15 to 16 euros for a dish just for the 20-minute working time, he adds. “And we still have to buy material, have energy costs, tablecloths and so on.”

Patzelt draws up another bill for the heating costs. “We have a large hall with a four meter high ceiling. At normal times, heating the room for an hour costs me between 25 and 28 euros. If the costs explode like this and I have 30 to 40 guests in the hall, I have to calculate five or six euros per person so that people are seated warmly. “

The Patzelts watched with excitement when and in what form energy costs would be eased. “What am I supposed to tell people what their birthday party in January or February is going to cost?”

These calculations are unavoidable, after all, the staff would have to be paid and at the end of the month the owners should have something left over. The prices have already been adjusted and the Patzels are initially planning to “swing through with 10 percent price increases”.

The acceptance of the guests is still there, the restaurant has many regular guests and there are many orders, but Patzelt observes a certain naturalness towards gastronomy in people’s minds, especially in rural areas. According to the motto: “I open the door, sit down and off we go.”

At the same time, he sees changes coming to the guests and his work. The number of restaurant courses for a good steak would certainly decrease and celebrations would be reduced from suckling pig to sauerbraten, for example.

The Patzelts wanted to maintain their culinary standard, just to use more other dishes. And Patzelt should also change the way he deals with canceled reservations, because it often happens that he has to accept empty chairs at short notice and is left with the costs.

“At some point we will have to go so far that people will have to bear the costs staggered, like on a trip, the further they go towards the deadline.” Despite the adversities, Ralf Patzelt is enthusiastic about his job. His two sons are also active in the catering and hotel industry.

“You can get to know the world and jobs are being sought everywhere. I would do it again and again, but you have to be flexible and really want it.” The guests can therefore continue to look forward to visiting the “Grüntal” restaurant in Neustadt near Coburg.

This article was written by Isabel Schaffner

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The original of this article “Gastronomer drastic: soon dishes from 30 euros due to enormous cost explosion” comes from inFranken.de.