With an increased reopening of the economy comes an increase in eating out at restaurants and fast-food chains. Consumers might feel some changes in their wallets, however, as consumer prices jumped 0.6% in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index. The annual inflation rate is now up to 5%, and food prices for food eaten away from home has jumped 4% compared with one year ago. This is the largest 12-month increase since October 2008, right before the Great Recession.
To deal with these increased costs, many big chain restaurants are raising their prices on the consumer, as well. Here are four restaurants where you can expect to pay more for the same food.
Last updated: July 5, 2021
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Your favorite Chipotle bowl or burrito is now likely to cost more money than it did several months ago. Though you might think the reason for the price hike is to recoup costs lost during the pandemic, it’s actually a result of the company trying to increase the hourly wage of its workers to an average of $15 per hour, according to CNBC. It’s becoming harder for restaurants to keep workers, many of who felt treated as disposable during the pandemic, and restaurants have to offer them more incentive.
Save Your Pockets: Here’s How Much Restaurants Mark Up Your Food
Even the fast-food chains, which rely less upon in-person dining, suffered losses during the pandemic. Big chains like McDonald’s and Jersey Mike’s are hiking up prices to cover not only losses but also anticipating increases to the minimum wage, according to EatThis.com. Additionally, many of these same fast-food chains have been slowly adding on “convenience fees,” according to Restaurant Business, which has increased their prices by as much as 6.5% over the past year.
Cracker Barrel restaurants have been in the process of upgrading their menus since late 2020, improving the quality of the food and the cooking processes. This has translated into higher prices for some of their food items, such as country fried streak and chicken and dumplings, according to Fool.com.
As restaurants ease restrictions and reopen for dining, apparently Americans can’t get enough of their steaks at what EatThis.com calls “America’s largest steakhouse,” Texas Roadhouse. Due to increased popularity, evidenced by an 18.5% sales increase for the first quarter of the year, and increased wages for workers, the company has opted to raise prices on customers by 1.5%, with further increases coming.