Inflation’s latest victim? New York City’s 1$ pizza slice

A New York City institution
Covid-19 victim
Staying afloat
Empty streets, lower profits
Inflation
The way of the dodo
Change or die
The demise of an icon
Thinking about the customers
All roads lead to Kyiv
The pandemic never ended
No longer living up to its name
NYC tradition
Over 1,700 locations
The perfect storm
Less options
A New York City institution

The $1 pizza slice has been a New York City institution for over 20 years. People of all classes and backgrounds enjoyed a cheap and quick bite in a city that can be rough and expensive. Now, an institution comes to an end.

Covid-19 victim

The New York Times points out Covid-19 as the main culprit of what put to an end the one-dollar pizza slice.

Staying afloat

Pizzerias, a staple of food delivery for decades, have generally managed to come off well enough compared to other restaurants during the pandemic.

Empty streets, lower profits

However, the $1 pizza slice depended on crowded streets full of tourists and locals with hungry stomachs, which were a continuous source of slim revenue. Covid-19 emptied the streets and made the fragile profits disappear.

Inflation

Others have been quick to signal soaring inflation and overall increasing food prices as the reason why one US dollar for a pizza slice is no longer economically viable.

The way of the dodo

News outlets such as The Guardian already predicted in late 2021 that the New York institution would soon go the way of the dodo.

Change or die

The New York Times, on the other hand, covered in December 2021 that pizzerias had been forced to either raise the price or close off locations, with only a few holding out for a single dollar.

The demise of an icon

In December 2021, The Guardian interviewed Abdul Muhammad, owner of 99 Cent Fresh Pizza. The restaurateur has kept the same price since opening his pizza restaurant chain in 2001.

Thinking about the customers

“I have to think about it because my customers, many of them unemployed and struggling to make rent, can’t afford to pay more”, declared Muhammad.

Image: Diego Marín / Unsplash

All roads lead to Kyiv

The war in Ukraine, which began in February when Russia invaded its neighbor, has also been detrimental to both the global economy and food prices around the world.

The pandemic never ended

The global chain of supply, which began with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and the world has not fully recovered yet, just adds wood to the fire.

No longer living up to its name

Pizza places aren’t the only ones affected. Business Insider reported that discount chain store Dollar Tree was forced to raise its prices to 1,25 US dollars for a similar myriad of reasons.

NYC tradition

Pizza has been a New York institution since the 1880s, when the first pizzerias by the then-booming Italian immigration are recorded to have opened.

Image: New York pizzeria in 1961, selling whole pizza pies for 15 cents.

Over 1,700 locations

The Guardian reports that there are currently circa 1,700 pizza restaurants around New York City.

Image: Jessica Pamp, Unsplash

The perfect storm

Nonetheless, the rise in rent, inflation, problems in the supply chain, and spotty delivery services have been putting a strain on these small businesses.

Less options

The 2008 Crisis, The New York Times points out, made the one-dollar pizza slice a lifesaver for many. However, now the tourist, the poor, and the unemployed have one less option.

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