Some of the nation's most popular eateries — both large and small — are hiking their prices, passing higher supply costs onto customers.
McDonald's, Outback Steakhouse, Starbucks and Wendy'sas inflation maintains its tight grip on the U.S. economy. Chipotle joined them on Tuesday when CEO Brian Niccol said the chain will increase prices next month by a percentage "in the mid- to high single-digit range."
Niccol told investors this week that higher dairy, packaging and tortilla prices factored into the new price hikes, which follow a previous round of price.
Rising menu prices increases have become so widespread that they've even reached the famed breakfast sandwich of New Yorkers — the bacon, egg and cheese. Due to the hottest, bodega owners are being forced to raise prices on a sandwich that became famous for its affordability, the AP reported. It's also affecting consumers, who are having to stretch to make ends meet.
Francisco Marte, who owns a bodega in the Bronx, told the Associated Press that he had to raise the price of everything in his store including sugar and potato chips. The price for Marte's bacon, egg and cheese is up from $2.50 to $4.50, he said.
"Bacon, egg and cheese — you can't take that sandwich away," he said. "That's the favorite sandwich for New Yorkers."
Frances Rice, who stopped by Marte's bodega for a bacon, egg and cheese, told the AP she's trying to work out how to cope with a tighter budget — but said there's always a silver lining.
"It means that I buy a good breakfast and stretch it to lunch and don't eat again until I get home, which means I lose weight," she said. "Got to look at the brighter side of things, because you know what? Either way, if you got to move, you've got to pay. If you're hungry, you have to eat."
Basics getting pricier
Meanwhile in California, Dean Devincenzi, who owns Double D's Sports Grille in Los Gatos, said he has had to raise the price of his burgers by $2.
"Avocados used to be 45 dollars a case, now it's $61.50," DevincenziCBS affiliate KPIX. "French fries, onion rings, this is the one that's gone up 50 percent."
Restaurateurs said rising inflation has made it more expensive for them to buy basic supplies like avocados, beef, chicken, take-out boxes and cooking oil. The cost of shipping in those items as well as paying staff is putting even more pressure on profits, they said.
Menu prices at full-service restaurants like Outback rose 8.9% between June 2021 and June 2022, according to data from the National Restaurant Association. At limited-service restaurants like McDonald's, menu prices rose 7.4% during the same period. Those figures mark the strongest 12-month increase in menu prices since 1981, the trade group said.
Corporations blaming rising ingredient costs have come under scrutiny from some consumer advocates, who point out that theare growing far beyond the rise in prices. That suggests that some companies may be using inflation as an excuse to pass along even higher price hikes to customers, they note.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.
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