Aussies should pay $60 a plate, chef warns as Melbourne restaurant closes

Aussies should pay $60 a plate, chef warns as Melbourne restaurant closes

Australians should be paying upwards of $50 for a main course meal at a restaurant if the industry is to remain solvent, according to a top Melbourne chef.

Teage Ezard has this week been forced to close his popular inner Melbourne restaurant Gingerboy after 18 years in business.

Hospitality venues say they’ve seen their business costs soar, but customers are unwilling to see those costs reflected in their bill.

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“Wages have increased, power and gas, amenities have all increased – and the menus have not,” Ezard told 9News.

He said the fundamentals of the business won’t stack up until diners are willing to pay as much as $60 per plate.

“You pay for what you get… and I think… that’s what it costs,” he said.

But Australians will be hard to convince.

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Recent NAB data shows dining out is the number one area Australians are reducing their spending.

The majority of those surveyed – 54 per cent – say they spent less on restaurant meals in the last three months, saving an average of $115 each.

Separate data shows food and beverage hospitality businesses are at the greatest risk of collapse.

Seven per cent are expected to fail over the next 12 months, according to CreditorWatch data.

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