This vintage menu is a blast from the past, showing what prices in Valletta would have looked like in the late 1970s.
A photo posted in the Facebook Group “Malta Lura Fil Passat” shows an old menu from Happy Return Bar & Restaurant, with prices as low as 50 cents for a plate of spaghetti bolognese.
The menu provides an interesting variety of meals, ranging from a steak and chips to a hamburger and spaghetti. A T-bone steak with eggs and chips would have only set you back Lm1.50c, while a serving of bread and butter would hardly dent your budget at 10c per serving.
According to the Facebook post, the menu comes from the late 1970s. This was a time when the first six-figure property for sale in Malta entered the market at Lm100,000, or €232,936 by today’s standards.
The jaw-dropping price included an Olympic sized pool and 1.6 hectares worth of garden space – nowadays that budget might get you a two-bedroom apartment.
But how do the prices on this menu weigh up in comparison to today’s economy? While the restaurant would have offered a cup of coffee for a mere 23c, nowadays a cup would cost you €1.50. This is almost 7 times the price from the 1970s menu.
On the other hand, while the minimum wage in the late 1970s stood at around €200 a month, today’s minimum wage guarantees €776. This is just 4 times the minimum wage from the 1970s.