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  #21  
Old 27.02.2008, 12:01
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Re: restaurant prices...

Food prices in London have increased markedly in the last year or so, but the exchange rate means that CH food looks expensive.

In London, with the possible exception of certain pub chains, a full service meal costs about the same as in Zürich, if not less.

The key difference is that the UK seems to have a wider variety and several tiers of price points which means that it is possible to get a plate of chunky food, for a lot less money.

dave



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I noticed the high cost of food when I first moved to Switzerland, but quickly learnt that it was something I had to accept here. After all, the salaries in Switzerland generally take into account the high cost of living here.

I had a friend visiting from the UK recently, and after a few days, she politely asked if we could perhaps eat at cheaper restaurants as she felt we were being extravagant by taking her to places where a meal would cost between CHF 25 to CHF 40 per person. Only then did I realise that I had just become accustomed to paying these prices each time I went out. I don't think I've ever had a meal less for less than CHF 25! (whether the meals are good value for money or quality is another issue)

Needless to say, we ended up eating at home for the rest of her stay in Zurich. So my friend saved money on eating out, but she didn't realise that the cost of food is generally high in Switzerland, and that cooking at home is only marginally cheaper than eating out. So I, as host, ended up paying for her meals ...

I wonder if she has ever eaten out in London because surely it can't be much cheaper than Zurich?
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  #22  
Old 27.02.2008, 12:28
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Re: restaurant prices...

At least in Switzerland you aren't forced to add 20% to the bill in tips even if you have had crappy service...

I was shocked to death as we left a restaurant in Vancouver, jet lagged and p*ssed off with a mouthy waitress serving luke-warm greasy food - eventually, when it suited her. She stopped us at the door and said we hadn't left a tip.

Apparently you have to tip service whether it's good or not.

Here you just pay for the food and have the option to leave a tip if you feel it is appropriate.
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  #23  
Old 27.02.2008, 14:07
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Re: restaurant prices...

Hi,

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cooking at home is only marginally cheaper than eating out. So I, as host, ended up paying for her meals ...
It depends what you cook. If you eat things that are in season they will generally be cheaper than things which have been imported. We often buy our veg at the local market and while Migros may be cheaper for many things, we often find we get good deals when the person is also the grower and they have a surplus of something to try and sell.

I also prefer buying fruit at the market. There is one stall selling apples and pears at Basel market which sells a great variety of different pears and apples with different flavours, textures and characteristics.

If I buy fruit and veg at the supermarket I am invariably disappointed at the blandness of many items.

Cheers,
Nick
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  #24  
Old 27.02.2008, 18:52
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Re: restaurant prices...

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It depends what you cook. If you eat things that are in season they will generally be cheaper than things which have been imported. We often buy our veg at the local market and while Migros may be cheaper for many things, we often find we get good deals when the person is also the grower and they have a surplus of something to try and sell.
I also prefer buying fruit at the market. There is one stall selling apples and pears at Basel market which sells a great variety of different pears and apples with different flavours, textures and characteristics.
If I buy fruit and veg at the supermarket I am invariably disappointed at the blandness of many items.
Cheers,
Nick

Same here , I can feed our family of five for one week ( cooking twice a day) at the same amount of CHF it would cost us to have ONE good meal in a restaurant and I follow the same shopping 'guidelines' as Nick has described in his post. So its feasible

happy cooking!
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  #25  
Old 27.02.2008, 19:42
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Re: restaurant prices...

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Hi,


It depends what you cook. If you eat things that are in season they will generally be cheaper than things which have been imported. We often buy our veg at the local market and while Migros may be cheaper for many things, we often find we get good deals when the person is also the grower and they have a surplus of something to try and sell.

I also prefer buying fruit at the market. There is one stall selling apples and pears at Basel market which sells a great variety of different pears and apples with different flavours, textures and characteristics.

If I buy fruit and veg at the supermarket I am invariably disappointed at the blandness of many items.

Cheers,
Nick
Do you know of any markets in the Zurich area?

I, too, would much prefer to buy my fruit and veg fresh from the market or directly from growers, which is what I did in my home country.

Except, since moving to Zurich, I have found that I have much less time to do the grocery shopping. I order my groceries and most household items online and have them home delivered. The produce is good, not great, but I never thought of Switzerland as a country with an abundance of "fresh" produce.

I was recently introduced to a place in Zurich (sort of an abattoir) where you can buy meat at much cheaper prices, though still fairly expensive when compared to other countries.

But overall, I find that buying food to cook at home is much more expensive in Switzerland. I cook quite a lot and, unfortunately, pay more attention to my taste buds than to my bank account. For me, I find that cooking at home in Zurich does not save me as much money as compared to back in my home country.

Obviously, eating out in Zurich is even more expensive. Not to mention home-delivered pizzas ...
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  #26  
Old 27.02.2008, 20:27
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Re: restaurant prices...

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Do you know of any markets in the Zurich area?
read here, or try...
fruit and vegetable markets in Switzerland

or see the links below in my signature...
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  #27  
Old 27.02.2008, 21:11
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Re: restaurant prices...

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Not to mention home-delivered pizzas ...
So make your own. Since when were flour, yeast, water, olive oil, tinned tomatoes and cheese expensive?

You can make passable pizza dough in about 45 mins. Roll it out, decorate the pizza and bake in a hot oven for about 8 minutes. Even the pizza delivery boy isn't that quick.

Cheers,
Nick
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  #28  
Old 27.02.2008, 21:15
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Re: restaurant prices...

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Obviously, eating out in Zurich is even more expensive. Not to mention home-delivered pizzas ...
Have you tried baking your own pizza? I've started making my own pizzas, and they've turned out surprisingly good and incredibly cheap. You'll quickly save up enough money to buy a kitchen aid mixer so you don't have to knead the dough by hand. You can also freeze the dough and put it in the fridge to thaw so it's ready for dinner.
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Old 27.02.2008, 21:17
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Re: restaurant prices...

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So make your own. Since when were flour, yeast, water, olive oil, tinned tomatoes and cheese expensive?

You can make passable pizza dough in about 45 mins. Roll it out, decorate the pizza and bake in a hot oven for about 8 minutes. Even the pizza delivery boy isn't that quick.

Cheers,
Nick
One other thing to do is to remember to put the pizza on the bottom shelf position in the oven.

My BBQ actually is a great pizza oven.
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  #30  
Old 27.02.2008, 21:31
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Re: restaurant prices...

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I was recently introduced to a place in Zurich (sort of an abattoir) where you can buy meat at much cheaper prices, though still fairly expensive when compared to other countries.
Can you share where this is ? As a committed carnivore, I'd be very interested in somewhere where meat prices were merely frightening, rather than horrifying.
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  #31  
Old 27.02.2008, 21:32
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Re: restaurant prices...

Eating out expensive because
* Relatively high wages
* High rentals
* Overpriced ingredients due to import restrictions ensuring higher farming incomes.

Compared to Swiss incomes, eating out is not so expensive, as some expats have pointed out in this thread.

Some acquaintances run an Indian restaurant. Despite high menu prices, they are struggling.
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  #32  
Old 28.02.2008, 13:44
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Re: restaurant prices...

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Have you tried baking your own pizza? I've started making my own pizzas, and they've turned out surprisingly good and incredibly cheap. You'll quickly save up enough money to buy a kitchen aid mixer so you don't have to knead the dough by hand. You can also freeze the dough and put it in the fridge to thaw so it's ready for dinner.
Our bread baking machine has a "pizza dough" setting which takes 45 minutes to make reasonable dough. We use the time in-between to get the other bits from Migros across the road.

It is nice to "go to town" with pizza sometimes. Try making the dough using Helles Urdinkel (while spelt) flour and let it rise for a couple of hours before rolling it out. Then use some expensive olive oil to brush over the base then decorate the pizza with buffalo (I know...bufala) mozzarella and the ripest tomatoes you can find. Sprinkled fresh basel over just after it comes out of the oven. You're also allowed to put some slices of parma ham on at this point too.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 28.02.2008, 13:51
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Re: restaurant prices...

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Some acquaintances run an Indian restaurant. Despite high menu prices, they are struggling.
Kings curry? Maybe that's why they are struggling. If it is them, they are seriously over-priced.

I just go to Aggarwal's.
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  #34  
Old 29.05.2009, 09:34
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Re: restaurant prices...

One of the interesting points that Jack makes if the significance of the beverage part of the restaurant business. It is a suprise therefore that very little consideration is ever given to this vital part of business with the owner often taking responsibility for it, something that he wouldn't do for food.

Wine is a significant earner if you get it right and is not a subject or part of the business to be casual on.

Perhaps one of the aspects that Jack didn't mention was that Restaurant typically are cash rich, i.e. they don't have to wait for payment at 30 days. Therefore the management of a restaurant is critical for its success. Ordering the right products, managing inventory and generating positive cash flow is a priority as is controlling costs.

Paul

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  #35  
Old 29.05.2009, 11:37
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Re: restaurant prices...

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One of the interesting points that Jack makes if the significance of the beverage part of the restaurant business. It is a suprise therefore that very little consideration is ever given to this vital part of business with the owner often taking responsibility for it, something that he wouldn't do for food.

Wine is a significant earner if you get it right and is not a subject or part of the business to be casual on.

Perhaps one of the aspects that Jack didn't mention was that Restaurant typically are cash rich, i.e. they don't have to wait for payment at 30 days. Therefore the management of a restaurant is critical for its success. Ordering the right products, managing inventory and generating positive cash flow is a priority as is controlling costs.

Paul
Exactly!!! Poor cash management is one of the main reasons restaurants fail...
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