Brain recalibration - a cost of living/modern life thread

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  • I think hospitality and leisure is the one industry that can probably justify increased costs. The pandemic followed by energy costs and then Ukraine etc. forcing up food prices, really left them little choice. I know examples where cafes/restaurants went from £20k a year on energy to being quoted renewals at £200k, completely unsustainable.

    My major issue is other industries (bikes, energy, insurance etc.) using these events as an excuse to force their prices up massively and IMO unnecessarily.

  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,528

    Petrol was 140p per litre in 2012, so that's not really gone crazy (on average) since then, has it?

  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,407

    Hard agree on most of these!


    Any gallic breakfast pastry that costs over 1Eur (outside of France) or a quid. Frankly that's our fault for allowing such nonsense

    I saw a 4 tribute act at bournemouth O2 that "only" cost 20 quid last weekend. 4 for 1 isnt so bad

    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,407

    Less coffee less water. "Italian Style" is 14g of coffee from 7g of coffee whereas the hipster coffee movement has moved this on (rightly IMO) to taking around 30s to get 30-40g from 16-20g of coffee...

    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,528

    Given that most of us have pretty much given up on paying for recorded music, I'm more relaxed about increases in concert costs, but some acts really are taking the piss.

  • Jezyboy
    Jezyboy Posts: 3,004

    I'm not sure it's the artists that are benefiting as much as companies like Ticketmaster, but then there were similar issues with record companies back in the days of records

  • wakemalcolm
    wakemalcolm Posts: 698
    edited March 16

    Agree that show prices should reflect the lack of need to pay for CDs and 8 track cartridges.

    I'm sure I heard Osman (my brother's in Suede, you know) the other day suggest that since streaming took over there's only 2 types of acts that make a serious living: your current stadium/arena acts (eg TS, Beyonce, Fiddy cent) where it looks like everyone's looking to bring a mouth to the table (venue, ticket agents, catering, merch), and the revival acts (eg Eagles, McCartney) who can fleece the boomer crowd for as much as their triple locked income can manage.

    ================================
    Cake is just weakness entering the body
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,528

    Pearl Jam are charging £250 (plus swingeing and unjustified ticketmaster fees) for standing in what looks like a very large area at the front in a stadium, where I paid £125 (plus fees) for a pretty small front area at blur which is already pricey. That's not ticketmaster doing that.

  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,212

    Used to have a rule that lunch out at work couldn’t exceed a £5er unless I was being social.

    No chance now

  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,811

    Who is going to pay that? I saw them in their prime for less than the cost of a CD.

  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,212

    Not always easy to.

    I was too young to see QOTSA in their prime but I did manage to see them in November.

    I had tickets to see The Smiles in the online basket but decided a month or two after a baby is born is not the time to go on a big night - I suspect they won’t tour again.

  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,289

    Yes, basically they move faster than the sloths that populate our cafes. They multi task, they plan what to do first… here they can only do one thing at a time, taking ages to perform very basic tasks.

    You just have to go to an Italian restaurant run by Italians in London… waiters whizz around at supersonic speeds, carry 4 or 5 plates at a time… here they walk slowly with no more than two plates, so you need 3 waiting staff for 20 customers, which is ridiculous

    left the forum March 2023
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,289

    My local Indian… I used to pay 50 pounds for 2, now it is about 60… that’s a 20% increase over 2 years of high inflation and that seems fair enough. Local pubs drinks seem to have gone up by a similar amount.

    My local cafes instead seem to have put up prices by about 50-60% over the same period… are they facing different costs or they are just taking advantage? I am inclined to think it’s the latter.

    left the forum March 2023
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,639

    Just popped into the local shop, had £2.50 change in my pocket and wanted a beer to have before heading out later. Not a single beer available in the shop for my budget, cheapest was £2.69.

  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,289

    I ,on the other hand, resisted an offer on Cruzcampo 66cl for 1.95 a bottle… probably a mistake, as I am quite thirsty now…

    left the forum March 2023
  • Stevo_666
    Stevo_666 Posts: 58,962

    Gig-wise depends who you want to see. I'm out next Saturday in town to see one of my old faves for the princely sum of £35.

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • orraloon
    orraloon Posts: 12,804

    Got tickets for Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets in June at £65 per. Happy with that: saw them back in 2022, one of the best live gigs evah! Has Gary Kemp on lead, Guy Pratt on bass... But can't recall how much tickets cost 2 years ago. But don't care.

    What does piss me off is seeing Tesco prices continually jack up, e.g. on beers and on basics, talking 20% - 40% year on year. Gotta fund increasing dividends innit.

  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,763
    edited March 17

    Saw a Japanese Jam tribute on Friday for free - they were actually pretty good!

    But yes I've stopped buying some stuff because of price increases. Food wise I tend to buy own brand rather than well known brands. Bikes I buy probably 10% of what I used to - probably helped by riding indoors all Winter and having built up a stock of stuff I didn't really need - parts and clothing - but am now finding a use for. The leak in the flat roof extension - a bucket has proved a lot cheaper than getting it fixed and how often does it really rain that hard anyway.

    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Stevo_666
    Stevo_666 Posts: 58,962

    Japanese - bet that was interesting.

    One of the best bits I went to was a triple tribute act down at the 100 Club - 3 bands doing tributes of Ramones, Clash and the Pistols. £13 a ticket.

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,432

    Regarding the speed of staff thing, we were in Porto last weekend and were commenting on how busy and fast the waiting staff were everywhere we went.

  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,289

    or anywhere else… it’s only in this country that they seem to get away without actually learning the trade. They are not paid too badly and they do get tips, which I am sure in Portugal they don’t… and yet, they seem to be totally useless.

    In most of Europe as a waiter you have to be fast, efficient, be able to carry safely several dishes, you need to be chatty with clients, but not overwhelming, typically you can speak several languages, even just basic translation of the dishes names, prices etc. On top of that, there are desirables like:

    Be able by looking at your customers hands to tell whether to recommend a 20-or a 200 euro bottle of wine.

    Be able to flirt, but not to a point to annoy the partner, with the aim to get a tip, if it makes sense to do so.

    Be able to advise on local dishes, specialties and just by looking in the eyes, whether they are there for 3 courses or just a main.

    Be able to accommodate customers, even when the restaurant is apparently full, by being creative.

    Be able to draw in undecided customers, who might be looking at the menu outside.


    There are so many skills, here they typically have none.

    left the forum March 2023
  • pangolin
    pangolin Posts: 6,368

    Haven't worked in restaurants but I've worked in a couple of coffee shops. Barista pay in the UK is often barely above minimum wage, and the tips are negligible.

    - Genesis Croix de Fer
    - Dolan Tuono
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,289

    same everywhere, it’s not that in Italy they get more… but this is no excuse not to learn a trade, which might come in handy, as it happens that skills are transferrable(most of the ones I listed above are). The problem is that here there is no training and there are no expectations and therefore any warm body who can walk and has two arms is good enough for the job. If employees have no push and incentive to get better, they won’t. Service is paid at the same rate, pretty much regardless of quality, so you know youbare going to get 10% by simply carrying some plates, and you won’t get 25% for going above and beyond… and even if you did, you would have to share it with the other lazy lot… there is no culture of serving, which is seen as something you do in between jobs or as a way to make ends meet. If you could hire a waiter that does the job of two, would you not be happy to pay them more than minimum?

    left the forum March 2023
  • pangolin
    pangolin Posts: 6,368

    Genuinely in a lot of places the progression is maybe you get to be "head barista" for an extra £1 over minimum wage.

    Certainly provides some motivation to go get a different job though.

    - Genesis Croix de Fer
    - Dolan Tuono
  • Jezyboy
    Jezyboy Posts: 3,004

    I suspect a large number of the qualities we are ascribing to foreign service staff come from the positive frame of mind that comes with being on holiday.

    The standard seems to be worse since COVID, and increasingly every restaurant seems to be either a chain or a gastro pub, neither of which seem likely to encourage superior service.

  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,289

    I have done many jobs… sold insurance products, cared for disabled kids, drove an ambulance, worked in a kitchen, then eventually been a scientist and more recently a University teacher. Of all the things I have done, my fondest memory is the time I worked as a waiter/bartender in a pub in Italy. We used to do 6PM-3AM shifts for 50k lire, which at the time was maybe 20 pounds in the mid nineties. Never had so much fun… as well as working as a waiter for events like weddings… it was such a laugh, I don’t understand why people see it as a bad job… it’s social, it’s flirty, you get tips… it’s great.. Inwould rather do that than teach science to bored teenagers

    left the forum March 2023
  • I think the notion of it being seen as a 'bad job' is the crux of it in the UK. Hospitality is treated as a career in Europe and held in high regard, in the UK it is seen as a service industry (I suspect largely as a hangup of class divisions) and something you do for a bit of cash until a 'real' career comes along. It just isn't part of UK culture and isn't viewed as aspirational in the main.

    There is a slight difference at very high end restaurants where prestige at working at a Michelin star level is looked upon more favourably, but obviously only a few operate at this level.

    I think there is a boom in good independent coffee shops where the owners are passionate about their product and offer a good service though.