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international

Raise to 2.50 or stick to one euro; what do student bars do with high beer prices?

Thirza Lont,
22 juni 2022 - 12:12

In the past few months, prices in the supermarket have risen considerably. The hospitality industry is also suffering from this, especially beer is getting a lot more expensive. Students are the victims. “The only way we, as a catering establishment, can deal with the price increases is to pass them on to the customers, the students.”

Paying twenty percent more for a beer. Since a few months this is the harsh reality for students who drink at student café De Heeren van Aemstel. During the week, this café often hosts drinks organized by study and student associations. Marnick van der Meulen, manager of De Heeren van Aemstel, has had to decide not to charge students 2.10 euros for a beer, but 2.50 euros because of the price increases of, among other things, beer.

Higher prices

Heineken announced June 21 a hefty increase in the price of their beer, because the prices of energy, raw materials and equipment are rising “exceptionally”. It was already known that the hospitality industry was raising prices due to the same coincidence. However, these price increases do not only apply to the hospitality industry. Because of a combination of, among other things, inflation and higher energy prices, groceries are becoming more expensive.

Van der Meulen sees that students are not yet deterred by the higher prices, he tells us by phone. “2.50 is still less for a beer than in other catering establishments. That's why we haven't heard from students yet that they think the prices are too high.” The only way to compensate for the higher purchase prices is by passing it on to the customers, including the students. “They don't only see this reflected in the prices of the beer, but also other things like wine and bitterballen become more expensive,” says Van der Meulen.

 

Also at Crea Café, the student café on the Roeterseiland campus, they see the problem of price increases. Tomorrow they will decide whether to pass on the higher purchase prices, or stick to the low prices as the cheapest provider of food and drink in the neighborhood.

 

Smaller margins
Within the university, students are also experiencing the consequences of the higher purchase prices of, among other things, beer. Daan Nijhoff, treasurer of the Common Room, a social space of study associations of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences on the Roeterseiland campus, also sees this. In this room, beer is sold at bargain prices.

Daan Nijhoff

The price of a beer in this space is one euro per bottle, but how long will that be possible with the price increases? “We are already seeing that profit margins are getting smaller. As a result, there is less money to invest in the space itself and there is less money for the bar staff here,” says Nijhoff.


Sticking to beer for one euro is the plan for now. “If we don't see any other possibility, we're more likely to compromise on beer quality. Now we often sell Hertog Jan, Grolsch or Heineken, depending on what is on offer. If prices continue to rise we are more likely to sell cheaper beer for the same euro. Rather than make the students pay more,” says Nijhoff.

 

According to manager Van der Meulen, as it looks now, his students do not have to fear that prices will increase even more in the near future. “We are going to give students more discounts than usual on every Tuesday and Thursday in the summer. To make it possible for students to have a cheap beer or something else. And so that we can retain customers even during the summer vacations.”