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Dutch restaurants most expensive in Western Europe15 January 2014, by Alexandra Gowling
Eating out in the Netherlands is more expensive than almost anywhere else in Europe, according to independent research organisation FoodService Institute.
Jan-Willem Grievink, the director of the institute, released the findings at the start of the annual hospitality trade fair Horecava in Amsterdam.
The institute compared the prices of three-course meals in different countries, showing that restaurants in the Netherlands were on average 20 per cent more expensive to eat in than those in other nearby countries.
For example, the average price for three courses in the Netherlands is about 27,45 euros, whereas in Belgium it is 24,95 euros, in France 20,30 euros and in Germany only 18,70 euros.
Cheaper to eat at home
The primary problem, according to Grievink, is that the difference between supermarket prices and the cost of eating out is too great.
"This is a uniquely Dutch problem," Grievink said about the lower supermarket prices in the Netherlands, adding that the cost difference between eating out and cooking at home was smaller in other countries.
In Germany, food prices at the supermarket are around 15 per cent higher than here, whereas in Belgium they are 20 per cent higher.
"The only people who can shop more cheaply are those in Spain and Poland," Grievink said. "Even in Greece, groceries are slightly more expensive than in the Netherlands."
Dutch prefer cheap, simple food
Grievink said that another aspect that makes eating at home much cheaper is because of what the Dutch generally prefer to eat.
"We love the ‘Holland pot’," he said. "The Netherlands is the land of the sausage, the uitsmijter (fried eggs on bread), luncheon meat and stamppot."
He said that the Dutch typically prefer cheaper products than their neighbours, saying that Germans will go for a particular ham from the Black Forest, whereas the Dutch are quickly satisfied when it comes to quality.
"But gradually we are learning that good things are worth more," he added.