A family-owned restaurant in Bournemouth has been forced to cut down its opening hours for the first time in 23 years, as costs of bills and produce soar.
Baraca in Charminster Road has been open since 2000 but the owners have never seen costs for businesses as high as they are now.
Aynur Kurt, the owner and chef at the restaurant, said that it has been getting progressively worse recently.
“The cost of electricity bills is now unaffordable,” she said. “Since December 2021, we’ve had an increase of seven or eight times.”
As a result of soaring costs, the restaurant will be closing on Sundays and Mondays, having previously been open seven days a week, but Ms Kurt is uncertain how much this will save.
She also says that the help that businesses have been getting from the Government doesn’t seem to be helping, and she is unsure how much help she gets.
“It’s so complicated,” she said. “We don’t understand how much the cap is, how much discount they are giving.
“I’ve questioned my utility company, please can you send me a detailed bill including the Government grant, but they’ve only said on their letter that the grant is included. I asked them if it wasn’t included what would be the real price, because if it is this high, I wonder how much it is going to cost [without it].
“But now we are almost on no salary because we can’t keep up with the bills anymore.”
Alongside rising bills, the restaurant is faced with soaring costs for produce.
“But the prices, I used to get lamb for £9 a kilogram, now its £18,” Ms Kurt said. “5kg of yoghurt used to cost £7, now it is £11-£14.
“I can’t increase the menu prices, because people’s budgets are the same.
“In my kitchen, I would normally have two or three staff. But for the last two or three months I have cut staff. I need helpers, but I can’t pay them.”
Ms Kurt said that if the costs increase any more, she may be forced into more drastic action.
She said: “If they increase more I will have to shut, I will have no choice.”