Restaurants raise prices as inflation soars
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Gas prices aren’t the only headache for some consumers; a trip to the grocery store is getting harder and harder to swallow because of inflation. And now those same price hikes are creeping onto the menus of your favorite restaurant.
“The price of chicken is 40% higher than it was a year ago. A burger cost a dollar more than a year and a half ago,” said restaurant consultant Mike Byrne. “Restaurants buy differently. They take things off the menu and people who go to the restaurant have the same expectations.
It’s not just consumers who have to endure higher menu prices. Bryne says restaurants like The Grill on Libbie Avenue and other local businesses are also seeing their operating costs skyrocket.
“For every dollar a customer spends in a restaurant, the restaurant owner at the end of the day after paying for product, staff, insurance, lights, temperature music, they want them to have left at the minus 15 cents if they’re good,” Byrne said. “They want to earn at least 10 cents on every dollar spent if they’re not so good, and zero if they’re bad. Right now we are in a tough phase, and you need to make enough volume to make money.
It’s not just menu prices that are going up. Companies pay more for the things you don’t have to pay. These are the things that customers don’t pay for such as napkins, straws, take-out boxes and condiments, among others, due to inflation, which in turn leads to higher menu prices and restaurant fees. additional services on your bill.
“The costs of non-food items, paper items, napkins, straws, all the things we use to run a restaurant that a customer never sees or buys, all of that still costs every day” , Byrne said. “It’s inflation at the top of the supply chain.”
Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association President Eric Terry said it’s a trend seen by restaurants across the state.
“We’ve seen restaurant prices increase year-over-year by about 8% following the inflation numbers we’ve seen,” Terry said.
“If you go to a restaurant right now, you’re going to pay more for your main dishes if you order a steak, a pork chop or a chicken dish. You’re going to have to pay a few extra bucks until the chin provided opens up and there’s more product available,” Byrne said.
But the spike in wholesale food prices is much more pronounced. According to the National Restaurant Association, that’s up 18%, the biggest 12-month increase in more than five decades.
“Companies have found that they really have to adjust prices just to pay for these increased costs, and ultimately that will have to be paid for by the consumer,” Terry said.
Byrne says some restaurants are adjusting menu items and hours of operation just to stay afloat, causing consumers to think twice about how and where they spend their dining dollars – s’ they spend it at all.
“A lot of restaurants have even closed for lunch just because it’s not crowded,” Bryne said. “The customer has to be patient and understand that the rules change, it’s a moving target, and the restaurant tour has to choose when they can serve and what they can serve and what kind of staff they have, and that’s quite a challenge.”
In the meantime, Byrne says the best thing customers can do is adjust their expectations to avoid sticker shock when restaurants adjust prices.
“As reality changes, our expectations must change,” Byrne said. “We do not control the cost of raw materials. It depends on when it gets here, and if it takes longer, it means you will have to pay more.
This comes at a time when restaurants in the area are hit by their lowest activity of the season, between now and Labor Day. This is a result of more people traveling out of town to eat while on vacation.
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