Restaurants and inflation: what’s the breaking point?

BVWireIssue #243-2
December 14, 2022

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Restaurants have been raising prices more aggressively in recent months to offset rising food and labor costs, according to an update from the Vertical IQ industry research platform. Full-service restaurant prices rose 9% year over year in August 2022, according to the most recent federal data, while limited-service prices rose 7.2%, Restaurant Business reported.

Point of no return: But there comes a “breaking point” at which restaurant traffic plunges when price increases get too aggressive, concludes a study by the consulting firm Revenue Management Solutions (RMS). “When price increases went beyond 10% to 13%, traffic started to severely decline, negating some or all of the net sales benefits,” Scott Foxworth, director of consulting services at RMS, says. His firm analyzed in-store price increases in the second quarter for 25,000 locations to find the consumer breaking point. The consultancy also found that 45% of consumers said they are eating out less and that a rising percentage of consumers say they are ordering less expensive items or choosing less expensive restaurants.

Vertical IQ provides regular industry updates such as that cover 97% of the U.S. economy and Canada. The platform recently added role-based “Prep Sheets” to help prepare for a management interview or site visit. For information on the platform, click here.

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