Prices Jump at Fast Food Restaurants

Prices at fast food restaurants have gone up — fast.

The Insider reported that prices have soared during the pandemic.

Chipotle said some of its increases can be attributed, in part, to raising wages for workers. The chain said in June it raised prices about 4% — pushing the average meal prices 30-40 cents higher.

“We think everybody in the restaurant industry is going to have to pass those costs along to the customer,” CFO Jack Hartung said in an April earnings call. He had also warned of coming price hikes.

According to analysts at Gordon Haskett, the biggest price jumps were 10% at Taco Bell, 8% at McDonald’s, and 8% at Dunkin’, followed by Chipotle, the Insider noted in July.

Starbucks is experiencing similar labor and cost pressures. It announced in October that its average hourly wage would rise to $17 by the end of 2021, up from $14. Baristas will get a 5% bump, and those who have been with the coffee chain for five or more years can apply for a 10% raise.

At McDonald’s, payroll costs were up 10% in 2021, while costs for the commodities that America’s leading fast-food chain pays were to go up 3.5% to 4% in the final months of 2021.

The chains have also been hit hard with increases in their costs for ingredients, the Insider pointed out.

Meat, poultry, fish, and egg prices went up year over year, the Insider reported, attributing the information to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Beef prices increased 20.1%.

And The Wall Street Journal reported that short supplies and escalating costs of chicken breasts and wings have forced some restaurants to add thighs and other dark poultry meat to their menus.

Meanwhile, business owners continue to complain they not able to find enough staff for their restaurants.

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