Inflation is being reported amongst the bigger food chains this past month. This will ultimately lead to higher costs for the consumer.
CNBC reported in Mid August:
“Food retailers like Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Noodles & Company are sounding the alarm on inflationary pressures, raising the question: Is this the start to higher food prices for consumers?
“Official data show inflation only gradually rising for the economy as a whole with the personal consumption index gaining 1.6 percent in June; however, a dozen food companies in the past few weeks have warned steeper price hikes hurt results last quarter.
Prices are rising for several restaurant staples like beef, seafood and cheese. But costs aren’t up everywhere: Grain and vegetable prices, for example, have been declining.
“This morning Red Robin said lower margins, which fell 1.3 percent from the same period a year ago, were mainly due to higher food and beverage costs.
“Noodles & Company, which reported last night, posted a two percent drop in margins due to increased costs. During the company’s conference call, CFO Dave Boennighausen said the cost of goods sold rose 70 basis points last quarter as a result of modestly higher pork, dairy and shrimp ingredient costs, as well as more promotional activity.
“Wholesale food inflation rose 4.2 percent in the first six months of the year, its steepest rise since 2011; however, menu and grocery prices – what consumers are paying – were only up 2.2 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, in the same period, according to the National Restaurant Association.”
These are striking numbers considering the purchasing power(Economies of Scale) these chains have compared too smaller food retailers. The smaller ones which most refer to as “Mom & Pop” will not be able to keep up as inflation keeps increasing. The consumer is still feeling squeezed on normal groceries going up in price. Eating out is a very easily controlled expense to decrease.