Maybe the restaurant situation is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to deeper problems that Canberra have. The main two issues I see with the restaurants are:
- The quality of food is not good in comparison to similar restaurants in other cities.
- They are over priced!
For example, the average meal price is more expensive than the same meal in Melbourne. Chinese dumplings are generally larger and cheaper in Melbourne than in Canberra. Same goes for Vietnamese pho soup as well. Yum Cha will have a bigger range. Value meals in some fast food outlets include drinks in Melbourne, whereas in Canberra, they will be the same price but without drinks. The souvlakis in Canberra do not taste as good as the ones in Melbourne.
I am not saying that every restaurant in Canberra has poor standards or over charges. I do not even think that they are even over charging, as they are just charging what they think is the correct price. It is just that the correct is higher in Canberra than in other locations. Transport and freight costs can only explain so much - the "captive market" phenomenon could explain the rest.