There may not be such a thing as bad pizza, especially in New York City, but some slices are leaving a bad taste. That’s because the area’s legendary $1 slice deals are becoming increasingly difficult to find.
According to The New York Post, you can thank a blend of inflation, supply-chain problems, and labor issues for the eroding hold on pie costs. At 2 Bros. Pizza on 8th Avenue, a sign boasting of their legendary $1 slices is now being accompanied by a notice—pizza is now $1.50.
Oren Halali, co-owner of 2 Bros. Pizza, told the Post that rising costs have affected everything from napkins to flour to pizza toppings, forcing a break in the $1 tradition.
Another pizzeria operator, Lenny Giordano, offered specifics on social media. Giordano said the price of garlic alone was up a staggering 400 percent. A package of pizza boxes, once $16, is now $30. Even the expense for the gas used to power pizza ovens is going up thanks to fuel costs. (Giordano’s $2 slice is now $3.)
It’s hard to know exactly when the $1 deal rose into prominence, but a 2018 Vice article pegged it as reaching its peak following the 2008 financial crisis, when people who were looking to conserve money began reaching more and more for a cheap and portable lunch. $1 slices, while not usually among the city’s best, were the most affordable.
The first cracks in the crust may have started in 2018, when expiring leases and increased rent forced some storefronts to begin raising prices. With this latest supply shortage, it’s put many of the $1 dealers on the edge.
Of course, it’s not just New York. Nationwide, inflation is accounting for a roughly 20 percent increase in pie prices for consumers. But the teetering cost of the city’s slice deal is symbolic. When there are no more $1 deals to be had, you know the world has changed.
[h/t Food & Wine]