Restaurant owners struggle as high inflation hits family food budgets

  • Restaurant owners are feeling the slump as inflation wreaks havoc on consumer spending.
  • The barbecue chain owner told Fox that soaring prices have been a challenge for her business.
  • About 84% of US consumers plan to spend less on dining experiences due to inflation.

Many restaurant owners across the United States say they are feeling the pressure of soaring inflation rates.

Laura Dickey, general manager of Texas-based barbecue chain Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, told Fox News she’s noticed a shift in how her customers spend their money, which is having a ripple effect on her business. .

Inflation hit its highest level in 41 years in March. The price spike has affected goods and services ranging from gasoline to groceries. This prompted US consumers to rein in their spending.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal consumption expenditure – the government’s measure for overall consumer spending – rose 0.2%, or about $35 billion, during the month of February due to the inflation.

Dickey said the impact of inflation has been difficult for his restaurants. She noticed”


price-driven behavior” of its customers as they become more price-conscious and concerned about what they are spending.

Dickey’s observations on people’s food budgets match new data released from a survey conducted for Bloomberg on US consumer spending.

According to the Harris Poll, about 84% of Americans plan to spend less amid inflation. Consumers plan to cut spending the most on restaurants and impulse purchases, as well as entertainment experiences such as concerts, Bloomberg reported.

A consumer told the outlet that he had to drastically change what he buys at the grocery store due to rising prices and switch from buying fresh and organic foods to canned goods and frozen.

The survey also found that 40% of US consumers said higher prices cause them to compromise on buying healthy items.

Dickey’s struggle is shared by other business owners in the hospitality industry. Drew Shane, general manager of a restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida, told local media that his company had to adjust menus and change some items to cut costs for customers.

By contrast, Latoya Perry, a Florida-based caterer, told the same outlet that customers are always willing to pay her prices because of the quality of food she provides.

Rising prices have not only affected the restaurant industry, but also the way workers relate to each other. Rising lunch costs due to inflation, dubbed “lunchflation,” means some people can’t afford to eat out with their teammates.

One worker told Insider, “Going out for lunch is something I really enjoy, so cutting that bit of joy out was tough.”

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