You’ve seen the headlines and felt it at the pump, the grocery store, and just about anywhere you spend your hard-earned dollars. The economy is affecting all of us, and Let’s Dish! is not immune. Because we are unwilling to compromise on quality – even in the face of ever-rising costs – we had no choice but to increase prices, effective on orders made as of February 1, 2011.
But, don’t panic! We have been working with our vendors to keep costs low, and our price increase is modest – averaging only about 15 cents a serving. Dish-n-Dash and DishDelivery surcharges haven’t changed at all. Unlike so many other retailers out there, our portion size has stayed the same.
Here are some links that you might be interested in. This story cites Labor Department statistics on increases in food costs (fruits and veggies +3, milk +10%, beef +13%, all versus just one year ago). And, this article shows how world food prices rose to a record high in December 2010.
After looking through all of the data, speaking with our vendors and consulting articles like the above, we reluctantly concluded that we needed to increase our prices slightly after having held steady for 31 months. Our next step was to needed to decide how best to do so. Naturally, we implemented it at the beginning of a menu cycle, since that fits into the standard “flow” of our business. Next, we carefully weighed all of our options for communicating the change and ultimately decided to increase our prices without a formal announcement.
We did this for two main reasons. First, because it’s really the industry standard. Consumer products companies and restaurants generally do not announce price increases. They will of course announce price cuts and promotions and we certainly do that, too. The second reason is that we’ve learned through experience that it doesn’t help much. Over the last ~7 years that we’ve been serving the region, we’ve tried it both ways (announced and unannounced). If anything, unannounced was actually easier and better because it caused less confusion. No one likes price increases. Trust us, we don’t like them either– we’re consumers, too. Some folks really won’t like it and will let us know. And we’ll happily engage them in a conversation to explain why we had to do it. Our customers then ultimately decide whether we remain a good value. We believe we are, and we hope you will agree.
A very small number of folks have said they felt we somehow deceived our customers by not announcing the increase. We regret that anyone felt that way and it was certainly not our intention. As previously mentioned, it’s quite standard in the industry to do it this way. Furthermore, some companies will go so far as to increase price in a much less obvious way. Witness a certain ice cream company that downsized their pints to 14oz last year, without reducing their price. Or diaper companies that frequently reduce the counts in their packages and hold prices steady. Or restaurants that gradually reduce their serving sizes while holding prices steady. These are all de facto price increases and they are, in our opinion, much less visible than the way we choose to do it. On the contrary, we chose to raise prices precisely because we are committed to maintaining the same serving sizes and level of quality that you’ve come to expect from Let’s Dish!. With rising food prices, the only way to do that is through a modest price increase.
If anyone did feel deceived, we again apologize for that and we hope you understand our thought process and logic now.
As the economy continues to throw new challenges our way, Let’s Dish! will continue to provide great value for your family. We will work hard to provide great meal solutions at a reasonable price. You can count on that. If you have any questions or comments, please email us.