Photo: Richard Bitting via Flickr
If you thought last night’s fettuccine was overpriced, get ready to pay through the nose for a T-bone.Bloomberg’s Anna-Louise Jackson and Anthony Feld are reporting that restaurants have been keeping an eye on rising grocery prices for a while, and now that they feel consumers have grown accustomed to them, they’re ready to hike your tab.
Part of it has to do with rising sales in the restaurant industry—Buffalo Wild Wings saw its profits rise 5.7 per cent last quarter—and with business on the up and up, these chains have “more confidence” to jack up prices.
Bloomberg also notes that minuscule advances in the economy—personal income rose 4.5 per cent in August and a little over 100 thousand jobs were added in September, according to the labour Department—are also giving restaurants the go-ahead. They assume customers will be good for the cleverly-hiked prices and ignore the vanished promotions.
According to experts we’ve spoken to in the past, most consumers, especially jobless ones, figure it’s cheaper to dine in, but despite rising costs at the grocery store, they still prefer to eat out. A modest night out can feel like a small reward in this shoddy economy, and as consumers scale back on big purchases like cars and new homes, they’ll try most anything to satiate their appetite for fun.
But don’t let restaurants’ creative pricing fool you. A slight raise in prices might look like nothing on the surface, but a few nights out at Chipotle, one of the more successful price-hikers of the fast-food bunch, can quickly add up.