“We raise the coffee to 1.50 euros”

VENICE – The cost of electricity has more than doubled, the cost of raw materials has skyrocketed, but for now a cup of coffee in Venice continues to cost around €20 cents. Heroism? Absolutely not, more than anything the fear of controversy that every time there has been an increase – if anything – has overwhelmed one public establishment or the other. All this in a city that is always in the crosshairs of social network haters, always ready to crucify the companies of a city whose costs are enormously higher than the “continent”.

“I never wanted to say this, it is with regret that I do it. We invite our employees to sell coffee for €1.50. Someone has to say this, even if it is an unpleasant thing, because the general price increase has also affected our category heavily ».
This is the provocation – but not too much – of Ernesto Pancin, head of Aepe, the Venetian association that brings together a thousand public companies.
«I can no longer keep my mouth shut – says Pancin – with the cost of energy skyrocketing, it is no longer possible to maintain the current price of 1.10 and 1.20 euros. The coffee machine absorbs 3 kW of power and is always on, even for 16 hours. The cost of energy also affects the cost of air conditioning, which is particularly burdensome in summer. The bar does not sell a few grams of coffee, they sell a service: espresso coffee that should be served in a hot cup and prepared by a person trained for it. If costs have risen for all businesses, I don’t see why the cost of a cup of coffee should always be the same. It is nowhere written that merchants have to absorb the price increases caused by inflation. And then – he adds – I would like to remind you how much coffee costs in other European countries. Several years ago, at this point, with the Aepe Study Center we had done some research between Austria, Slovenia and Germany and we found that just beyond the border the cup jumped to 2.60 ».

Clearly, price increases are around the corner at the national level and the National Consumer Union and ADUC are urging retailers to be transparent by disclosing last year’s and current bills to justify any increases. No sooner said than done. La Fipe has launched a national campaign called “Bills in the window”. In these days, the managers of public facilities associated with Fipe Confcommercio (and thus also Aepe) will have a frame to hang in their premises, to display the latest gas and electricity bills. Bills doubled or tripled compared to a year ago due to rising gas prices. A situation that forces traders to have to choose between price increases, so far very modest, and suspension of operations pending a decisive intervention by the government.
«We invite all our employees – concludes Pancin – to put their bills in the window to show everyone how much the expenses and difficulties that our companies have increased. We really have problems, in addition to the problems we still have on our shoulders after Aqua Granda 2019 and the pandemic that broke out while we were still on our knees ».

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