Americans began to clearly feel the pressure being weighed down, it was difficult to find “soft” lunch goods.
According to the “Pizza Rule,” a measure of the New York economy for more than four decades, a slice of cheese pizza will always cost as much as a subway ride. This rule has largely remained true since it was first calculated in the New York Times in 1980: an increase in pizza prices reflects a similarly high price of public transit.
However, this rule is no longer true. The price of a slice of pizza has now surpassed $3 across New York, driven by higher labor and commodity costs. When the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) lists train fares at $2.75, the difference between downtown train fares and this popular dish is growing rapidly.
Paul Giannone, owner of a pizzeria in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, shouted when asked about the “Pizza Rule”: “Stop it! I’ve talked about this too many times. The difference is happening.”
Initially, the MTA planned to keep train fares unchanged for six months through July, pending the disbursement of the federal stimulus package. However, New York Governor Kathu Hochul has proposed a state budget bill that includes avoiding price increases for the rest of this year.
For New Yorkers, a slice of pizza is an important part of life in what was once called a “pizza mecca” by comedian Jon Stewart. Like subway cars, pizzerias are among the only places where New Yorkers from all walks of life are present.
Colin Hagendorf, co-owner of the Italian restaurant Macosa Trattoria in Brooklyn and spent two years researching every slice of cheese pizza in Manhattan for his book “Slice Harvester,” said: “Pizzas are so loved that everyone buys them. Everyone comes to the same place to enjoy.”
Pizza is an affordable dish for many people in a city with an expensive standard of living. Of course, some pizzas are still at near-impossibly low prices, with slices of less than a dollar also sold throughout Manhattan. Some bakeries also keep prices at $2.75, at least for now.
However, the price of a regular slice of pizza is much higher at $3.14 and also depends on which store the buyer orders from, according to Slice, an online ordering service at pizza shops in New York. This year, the price of a slice of pizza in all five New York counties surpassed $3 for the first time, new data shows. Manhattan peaked at $3.26.
Over the past year, inflation has been a growing factor putting pressure on pizzerias and their other bakeries. The average price of gas, used to heat ovens, has increased 24% for urban consumers across the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Paul Giannone’s Paulie Gee store has a natural gas oven, and he says costs have skyrocketed. “Honestly, there are too many problems going on and I can’t deal with them,” he said.
Moreover, the ingredients for making cakes also increase in price. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of cheese has not risen as quickly as other food commodities during the pandemic, but has remained about 10% higher over the past three years. Among ingredients, flour is putting the biggest pressure on bakeries, as prices have risen 11.6% in the past year alone and hit their highest levels in more than a decade.
Then there are the labor costs. Average wages in the food industry in New York have increased by 7.9% from a year earlier since September 30 (the most recently released figures from the New York State Department of Labor). Giannone said since the pandemic he has increased the pay of his direct sales staff by 50%.
All of these costs have reduced the profits of pizzerias, forcing them to raise prices. Pizza Palace, 75 years old in Inwood, north of Manhattan, raised the price of a slice of pizza from $3 to $3.25 in October. Panos Kakanas, son-in-law of the bakery owner John Kambouris and one of Store managers, said the store’s signature cake flavors may soon increase in price.
Some pizzeria customers say they are feeling inflationary pressures. Daphney Lopez, 19, a senior at the School of Art and Design in midtown Manhattan, often goes to lunch at Little Italy Pizza on Third Avenue several times a week. “I wanted to find a pizza shop for 99 cents, but there was nowhere near the school,” she said.
Willa Johnson, 17, also a senior, said she read about the “Pizza Rule” during an economics class. However, she did not think this was true.
At the moment, some stores have not considered raising prices yet, but with costs escalating and competitors all raising prices above $3, they may follow. Pizza shop owners predict that customers have seen everything from gas prices to groceries skyrocket, and they won’t find it strange that everything else has gone up as well.
“You could say a regular slice of cake is $3.75, but it’s going to be $4. I’ll tell my manager right after this interview,” Giannone said.
Refer to Bloomberg
at Blogtuan.info – Source: Afamily.vn – Read the original article here