Numerous restaurateurs had already passed on the VAT increase on food to their customers in mid-January. In addition to food prices, drinks prices were also increased, although VAT on drinks remained unchanged.
According to Meoton, the gastronomy data provider, around 20% of restaurants in Germany had already adjusted the prices published on their websites in the first two weeks of January.
Among the restaurants that have already increased their prices, the average increase for food is 9.7% and for drinks 5.4%. This means that businesses are also increasing the prices of drinks for which the VAT rate has not changed – often in order to avoid having to raise the prices of food too much.
The background to these price increases is that the VAT rate for food consumed in restaurants was raised again from 7% to 19% at the beginning of January. The VAT rate on drinks, on the other hand, remained unchanged. In addition to the VAT increase, there is also inflation. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the inflation rate in December 2023 was 3.7%.
In the first half of January, many restaurateurs waited to increase prices or did not yet adjust their online food and drink menus. Christian Haese, co-founder of Meoton: “In conversations with restaurateurs, it came up again and again that they are still observing how their competitors are behaving. Many don’t want to decide how to adjust their prices until the next few weeks.” However, most of the restaurateurs surveyed are already planning to follow suit in the short term or have already done so. Some restaurateurs also report that they would like to increase their prices in several stages.
The average price of a roast onion has risen from 24.73 euros to 27.04 euros, i.e. by 9.3%. The average price of a cappuccino has risen by 5.5% from 3.48 euros to 3.67 euros.
Meoton analyzed the prices of more than 80 different food and drink items from mid-January 2024 compared to December 2023 for its analysis of over 23,000 restaurants and cafés across Germany. The prices were taken from the menus published online on the websites of the restaurants. In addition, a number of selected restaurateurs in Berlin were qualitatively surveyed.
Berlin-based Meoton GmbH uses AI to collect data on catering businesses for companies in the food and beverage industry. Meoton is funded by the state of Berlin as an innovative company and is part of the Dynamic Innovation Campus Drinks Food Tech – DICA funding program, which is backed by well-known companies in the food and beverage industry.