Whispers are abound in the food industry about the current price of gas and it’s effect on the delivery of foodstuffs to restaurants, cafes, and caterers across the nation. With the increase in transportation prices, food costs are skyrocketing on everything from flour to fish, making it the biggest challenge for restaurateurs in 2008. Is an indication of recession right here in our own kitchen?
The Food Dude of Portlandfoodanddrink.com commented recently on the state of the food industry in Portland, Oregon:
Last year at this time, we had so much news it was impossible to keep up. Restaurants were opening everywhere, chefs were moving, rumors were flying. In a telltale indicator of our current economic woes, nothing seems to be happening, or at least nothing I’ve found has been worth reporting.
I’m more than a bit worried by the lack of patrons in Portland restaurants. Places that are normally packed have been awfully quiet. Catering is very slow. As often in a slowing economy, about the only places that seem busy are the liquor stores. Meanwhile, rumors are flying about restaurants circling the drain; so many I can’t keep up. If things keep slipping downhill, this will be an interesting Spring/Summer.
Noted on a posting by agriculture blogger Robert Pore, food industry consulting firm Technomic reports:
Economic worries among Americans may translate to less trips to the local diner this year…while the industry has enjoyed sustained growth up until now, weaker performance is expected in 2008.
“Because the restaurant industry often serves as a leading economic indicator, our opinion is that the U.S. has most likely entered a recession, or is headed for one,” said Ron Paul, president of Technomic.
What does this mean for those of us in the food trenches? With less
diners, will restaurant workers be out of work in 2008? Stay tuned, dear