NYC’s iconic $1 pizza slice scorched by staggering inflation


You’re gonna need more dough for that slice.

The price of pizza is soaring in the Big Apple thanks to a dyspeptic recipe of inflationary food costs, a global supply-chain crisis and national labor shortage.

The sticker shock is hitting pizza-passionate Gothamites right in the gut.

“It’s a little bit scary at times,” said Slone Elias, a customer at 2 Bros. Pizza on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea. “Eventually it’s going to reflect in rising food prices at every restaurant.”

Elias savored slices on the sidewalk this week with friends amid a true sign of the times — the shop advertises $1.50 pizza slices on a sidewalk menu board, right beneath its iconic bright red marquee boasting “$1 Pizza.”

“Inflation is affecting every single ingredient, every single item we use. Flour, cheese, tomatoes, gloves, paper goods, paper plates, napkins. Everything. Labor is definitely up, as well,” Oren Halali, the 2 Bros. Pizza co-founder, told The Post.

Leonardo Giordano, owner of Mona Lisa Pizzeria, at his Staten Island restaurant.
Leonardo Giordano, owner of Mona Lisa Pizzeria said the prices of 200 items that he orders for the pizza joint “went up 50 to 200 percent.”
Helayne Seidman

Lenny Giordano, owner of Mona Lisa Pizzeria in Annadale on Staten Island, agreed.

“I can list about 200 items that I’m buying for my store every week and every one of them went up 50 to 200 percent (over the past year),” he wrote on social media last week, sharing the shocking numbers in an open letter to patrons apologizing for price increases.

The price of garlic alone has surged 400 percent, he said.

Patrons eat $1.50 slices under 2 Bros. Pizza’s “$1 Pizza” sign in Chelsea, as Lenny Giordano laments rising costs at his Mona Lisa Pizzeria on Staten Island.
2 Bros. Pizza’s advertises $1.50 pizza slices on a sidewalk menu board.
Helayne Seidman

“Our profit margin goes down every day,” Giordano said. “We’re trying not to scare people away with higher prices. If we raise prices according to rising food costs going up, we’ll soon have no customers walking through the door.”

Over the past year, a plain slice at the award-winning Mona Lisa has risen from $2.25 to $2.75 (up 22%) and a cheese pie is up from $15 to $18 (20%) — steep increases that are still well below the heat Giordano says he’s taking from suppliers.

City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) lamented the emerging crisis. “My neighborhood pizzeria #inflation,” he tweeted.

And not every establishment can eat the costs. Giordano said three local eateries near him are already cooked, having closed in recent days.

A September survey by the National Restaurant Association’s Pizza Industry Council found that 97% of casual-dining eateries experienced food and beverage shortages or delivery delays in recent months; 81% were forced to change menu offerings; 88% reported profit margins below pre-pandemic levels.

“Supply chain delays and shortages are having incredible impacts on restaurants and driving up the costs of everything from flour and beef to paper products,” said Council spokeswoman Vanessa Sink.

Restaurants must also contend with a dramatic rise in energy costs. Gas used to power pizza ovens is up 20.6% over the past year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

*Comparison from Oct. 2020 to Oct. 2021
NY Post photo composite

Lack of labor is putting pressure on prices, too. Take-out eateries now spend up to $20 per hour for counter help and dishwashers — well above the state’s $15 minimum wage.

“Staffing is near impossible in restaurants right now,” said restaurant consultant, pizza enthusiast and Williamsburg resident Dara Pollak. “I don’t think any (eatery) is in a great place.”

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