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Prices at restaurants shoot up, souvlaki now €8

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Consumers in Cyprus are not taking well to increased prices at hospitality venues, pushed up by hiking costs of raw materials and energy, as owners report a steep drop in their business.

In comments to news site StockWatch, Phanos Leventis of the Leisure and Entertainment Establishment Owners Association, argued that hospitality venue owners had to push prices up, as they could no longer absorb increases in operational costs.

“Businesses can no longer absorb price hikes as they did in the past, and are now forced to roll on the increases to customers,” he said.

Indicatively, Leventis said that the cost of a Cypriot souvlaki pitta is now €8, up from an average €6, while chicken souvlaki now costs €10, up from €7.

He noted that the increases at kebab places are justified, as the cost of pitta bread has shot up following hikes in the price of flour and sugar.

Losing business

He added that this also comes at the cost of losing out on business, as “citizens are cutting down on their outings, as they see their purchasing power being reduced because of hiking prices, powered by the war in Ukraine”.

Leventis added that hospitality venues are also being electrocuted by high electricity bills, as venue owners are paying double for energy, compared to a year ago.

He argued that the state needs to intervene, putting forward his association’s suggestion for reducing VAT at hospitality venues.

He said that the association will be tabling more suggestions at meetings scheduled with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, and the Commerce Ministry.

Leventis expressed the hope that their demands will be met with understanding by authorities, noting that the hospitality sector’s contribution is significant to the economy’s growth and keeping unemployment at low levels.