Ordinarily, in times of financial stress, restaurants will see a downturn in guests as families opt to dine at home in an effort to save money. But with supply chain issues and inflation on the rise, this financial slump has yielded a new result: eating out is nearly a bargain compared to the price hikes at the grocery store.
As this article from the Wall Street Journal notes, “July saw the biggest inflationary gap between grocery stores and restaurants since the 1970s.” While grocery store prices have reached a more than 13% increase, restaurants are keeping costs lower, increasing menu prices by only as much as 7.6%.
While consumers search for ways to save money, restaurants can stay-in-business while also helping their community members. Advertising low-cost meals and running special menus will catch the eye of diners looking or the best way to budget for food costs.
Richard Weil, owner and principal of National Restaurant Consultants, provides additional insights: “Taking a price increase is a necessity and in no way are we suggesting food service operators not keep up with rising cost of goods and labor,” he says. “The primary focus of this article is that consumers are aware of increasing costs. Now that children and students are going back to school, this transition time of the year suggests that operators take necessary increases to keep up. Contact us as we can help you make sure that you are systematic about your business needs and decisions.”
Part of keen business management is keeping an eye on the needs and concerns of your customers. While restaurants are in this unique position of being more cost-effective than some at-home dining, it is a great opportunity to connect with guests while maintaining profits.