No one is immune to the rising prices of late, not even Belgium's beloved friterie or frikot. Bernard Lefèvre, President of the Belgian fries association Navefri expects a portion of fries to become 10 to 20% more expensive on average by the end of the year.
A few months ago, a portion of fries would have cost someone an average of €2.50. By the end of the year, it will be around €2.75 to €3. Although it depends on a case-by-case basis.
"The cost price of a portion of fries consists of a number of elements and almost all of them have become more expensive," Lefèvre said.
Friterie owners, therefore, have no choice but to mark up their prices and that price rise will be quite sharp right away, Lefèvre thinks: "I expect about 10 to 20% by the end of the year. Some have already implemented the price rise, for others it is yet to happen."
Closing earlier and opening less
However, friterie owners are also looking for other ways to get out of costs. "Serving fewer chips or compromising on quality is not an option," urged Lefèvre. "I see people now closing their doors a bit earlier or building in an extra closing day. That's a trade-off you have to make."
He explains that if they only have a small number of orders on a Monday or if they see a drop in customers later at night, it makes sense not to be open during those times. "Customers should just go to the chip shop on time," he said.
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Whether the crisis is also affecting sales figures, Lefèvre dared not say.
"It is speculation for now, but I don't think people will skip their usual portion of chips. There is so much bad news in the world that it is still important to be able to eat something tasty once a week."