Restaurant chains continue to foreshadow price increases on their menus as the inflation and rising cost of labor put pressure on the industry.
Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of several popular casual dining chains, announced it expects to raise menu prices across all of its brands in order to offset an expected 10% commodity cost inflation and labor inflation in the “mid-single digits” in 2022, according to Restaurant Business.
The company’s four brands, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse were all up in third-quarter same-store sales compared to the same time period in 2019. But Bloomin’ still expects to offset some of the anticipated “cost headwinds” by passing the price increases down to customers.
Bloomin’ said it will implement its first price increase of 3% at the end of November. CEO David Deno said the increases will affect each restaurant chain differently, and that the company is particularly careful about raising its Outback Steakhouse prices.
“As a reminder, we have not taken a material menu price increase since late 2019,” said executive vice president and CFO Chris Meyer. “We will continue to monitor current inflationary trends for further potential pricing actions.”
Meyer did hint that prices may go up even further at Outback, Carrabba’s, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s next year, saying the company is “not beyond taking a little more menu pricing if that’s necessary.”
Other chains have recently revealed price increases on their menus as well. McDonald’s reported its prices were up by 6% in 2021 compared to the previous year, and are expected to stay at that level.
Similarly, food at the 600-unit Mexican chain Del Taco is getting more expensive, as the company increases menu prices by 5.5% to combat its chronic labor issues and higher food costs.
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