In this space I have often moaned and groaned about some island restaurants and the prices they charge. Now, I obviously realise that running a restaurant is not easy but I have been given an insight into the challenges which are faced by many restaurant owners. One of the biggest problems is recruiting staff. Young people, I am told, no longer want to work the long hours and the split shifts, which I suppose is understandable but of course it causes a major headache for restaurant owners who have to search high and low. The other problem is competition. The influx of new restaurants has meant that prices have been reduced. The owner of one restautant told me that a kilo of fresh fish in some cases costs 35 euros and he was charging 50 euros in the restaurant for the dish which meant that profit margins were low.

Restaurants are finding it tough, even those at the top end. The local trade has all but disappeared from the more expensive and up-market restaurants which means that they have to rely on tourists for their takings. This is fine during the summer months but in the winter it is a real problem. I have often complained that it is no longer cheap to eat out in Palma at some restaurants, but I suppose that you forget that the price of food is rising. The fast-food outlets will always be popular and so will those businesses that offer a bargain menu and work on volume. It is hard to compete but I do understand that running a restaurant is a real challenge.