Australia

Egg shortages could cause menu and price changes at cafes in Sydney and Melbourne

“When agricultural commodities soar, it becomes much harder to make a decent living and make a profit,” he said.

But Crespin also said he would never consider changing the eggs on the menu. “In the end it’s just a matter of menu wise. It was always juggling [in] Hospitality, but that’s what we do. ”

Brightside Café owner Tate Crespin raised the price of eggs in July. credit:Justin McManus

Gagan Singh, owner of Latte Road Cafe in the northern suburb of Wolart, Melbourne, said his supplier had doubled the price of free-range eggs. He was forced to raise prices two months ahead of him, but now has to do so to maintain breakeven.

“My lap was $5.50 and now it’s up to $6.90 to $7. But I’m going to put it up again,” he said.

Belinda Clarke, chief operating officer of the Restaurant and Catering Association, said eight out of 10 restaurants have passed some or all of the price increases on to consumers, although some was passive.

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“At this point, we don’t see a lot of change in people changing the menu,” says Clark. “If it continues, like we did, I think we’ll see [the shortages of] Lettuce and potatoes, a real change in the engineering of their breakfast menu. ”

Short-term solutions, Clark said, include using processed egg mixes in scrambled eggs (which she admitted is unpopular with consumers) or reducing the availability of poached eggs. said it was possible.

Australian Food Service Advocacy board member Wes Lambert said the costs would ultimately be passed on to consumers, leading to continued inflation.

“As inflation picks up, you should expect meals to likely be more expensive heading into the summer, but that’s not the restaurants and cafes’ fault,” Lambert said.

Brett Langfield, chairman of the NSW Farmers Federation’s Egg Commission, said the egg shortage was due to a recovery in wholesale egg purchases by cafes and restaurants in January and February after the COVID-19 lockdowns. It did not, and the industry interpreted the change as permanent.

In his case, he had 680,000 birds, but by killing 1 in 5 of the oldest hens, he reduced egg production by 20%.

After the recent lockdowns, eggs were in oversupply and farmers cut production capacity.

After the recent lockdowns, eggs were in oversupply and farmers cut production capacity. credit:Jessica Shapiro

“Eggs are a perishable product. They have an expiration date, so we need to manage that, and we didn’t know if the change in consumer buying habits would last long.

“We take those eggs out of production and we can’t put them back into production. It takes about 4.5 to 5 months for the chicks to go into production.”

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Rowan McMonnies, managing director of industry group Australian Eggs, said overall demand for eggs has increased in the past 12 months.

“Retail volumes are down slightly compared to this time last year when they were higher due to COVID lockdowns,” McMonnies said.

“Cafés and restaurants also appear to have recovered faster than expected as diners made up for lost time.”

McMonnies said recent media comments accusing free-range eggs of a lack of demand were too simplistic.

A Coles spokesperson said the two-carton-per-customer limit has been in place for several weeks and applies to all states and territories.

Woolworths has no restrictions on eggs, but a spokesperson said customers may notice reduced availability.

with Rebecca Sadik

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Egg shortages could cause menu and price changes at cafes in Sydney and Melbourne

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