Food costs, gas prices and empty tables: the ripple effect of high gas prices

Among those affected by high gas prices: A move by Ritz-Carlton owners to close a West End restaurant, a hot dip in food sales at places with discounts, and the prospect of fewer restaurants.

Ritz Carlton President Jeannette Rogers sent out an e-mail Monday with the topic line “Extraordinary Pipeline Costs.” She announced that Ralph’s Café, the Ritz’s West End restaurant at 3300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, will be closed. She said it will reopen as soon as possible, but “due to extraordinary pipeline costs that this East Coast location is experiencing, we’ve decided it will be economically prudent for us to close the Ritz-Carlton Hotel immediately.”

The closing and reopening of Ralph’s is a classic ripple effect from price hikes at the pump. A number of restaurants close as customers pay higher prices to fill up their tanks. Bait n’ Tackle, State Department Barbecue, Washingtonian Pizza, Agnes Snyder’s and Seduction Cafe, are also casualties of high gas prices.

Ritz managers are “reviewing every expense to get the optimal final move forward,” Rogers said. Ritz-Carlton, which has 14 hotels and other units, including two in Washington, opened in October of 1955 and has been a major force in the city’s hotels.

Leave a Comment