Rising food prices, supply chain issues driving up menu prices

Diners may notice a higher number on the receipt the next time they go out to eat. Restaurants face a storm of obstacles ranging from skyrocketing food prices to shipping delays. This is forcing some restaurants, still recovering, to make the difficult choice to increase menu prices.

“It all seems to be piling up,” said John Horne, owner / operator of several Anna Maria Oyster Bars locations.

Inflated food costs, higher worker wages, supply chain shortages and delays are just a few of the things restaurants face. At the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s board meeting this week, there was no lack of concerns.

“This keeps everyone in the loop because you can only pass on a certain number of costs,” said Horne, who is also the restaurant manager and secretary / treasurer of the FRLA board.

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Items like chicken wings are getting more and more expensive. “It’s $ 140 a case versus $ 40,” Horne said.

Plastic gloves aren’t that easy to find either. “They’ve gone from $ 20 a case to over $ 140, and again, sometimes it’s hard to get them,” Horne said.

Supply issues even keep favorites like Alaskan King Crab Legs and Clam Strips from the menu.

“One of our most popular items, I can’t get it from anyone,” Horne said.

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According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the major commodities in the wholesale food price index have been on the rise since last year. Beef increased by 57.7%, fats and oils by almost 50%, eggs by almost 40% and processed poultry by 30%. To compensate for this, menu prices, on average, are up 4.7%.

Tampa-based Bloomin ‘Brands, which owns Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Aussie Grill, just announced plans to raise prices by around 3%.

Bloomin ‘Brands sent a statement to FOX 13, saying, “Raising the prices of our menus is a last resort. However, there is a need to counter the inflationary pressures of raw materials and labor. We will keep the increase too. minimal as possible. “

Florida restaurants face tough decisions.

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“The prices are going to go up there,” Horne said. “There’s no getting around it. You know, we’re on little margins now. So it’s not like you can keep biting into that margin.”

Restaurants have to strike the delicate balance by carefully raising prices to stay afloat while not pushing customers away.

“At some point they’ll say it’s more than I can afford to do,” Horne said of clients. “I won’t eat out as often in restaurants or maybe they will cut down on dining out one day a week, this is all going to hurt us tremendously.”

Chili’s, McDonald’s and Chipotle are also increasing their prices. But adding pennies to menu items doesn’t always scare customers away. In fact, Chipotle had record third quarter sales despite a 4% price increase.


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