By way of a long explanation:
Last night we were fortunate enough to get a freebie meal from one of Moscow's soon-to-be high-end restaurants courtesy of Eric, previously of Carre Blanc. If it has a name it passed me by. I'll link to it when it opens. The creme brulee would win the Moscow creme brulee competition - not that the competition is stiff.
Anyhow to the point (finally). The restaurant should have opened a year ago but complicated building works, including keeping the river Neglinka out of the basement, has kept it shuttered. Now they are mostly ready to launch but for the fact that they need to hire 20 kitchen and wait staff. Currently they are adding them at 1-a-day. Should be ready for a cash opening in 3 weeks time. Fortunately the owner won't miss the cash he is currently losing.
It is fairly unusual to use the restaurant business as a proxy for business in general. In this case it works. Businesses are looking for qualified and experienced marketing, finance etc etc etc staff. At a price which reflects their value to the business and on the off chance that they might stay in the business for more than 18 months. I would go as far as to say that they are not available.
As anyone with the barest understanding of supply and demand will know that high demand and low supply will theoretically drive prices up to bring more people in to the industry and suppress demand. Anecdotal evidence (from my credit card statement) would suggest that restaurants are not passing on cost increases to consumers, or I am drinking less. But costs are definitely on the rise. Staff costs are rising everywhere, in every business.
There is a gap between published inflation and real inflation.
On a tangential note; Cantinetta Antinori is Eric's favourite restaurant in Moscow. That's depressing - nice enough restaurant, good enough food. But that's about as far as it goes. Plenty of new restaurants - still no good food.