Menu prices increase 6% as cost pressure bites

Operators might be looking to squeeze the life out of their equipment assets these days, but they’re also having to contend with above-average increases in food prices.

Research indicates that restaurants and pubs have hiked their menu prices by 6% in the past six months alone, as they seek to pass on rising food costs and offset the expense of running special offers, such as meal deals and voucher offers.

Horizons’ latest biannual ‘Menurama’ study, which tracks menu changes across 116 chain hotels, pubs, restaurants and quick service outlets, reveals that over the past six months average dish prices have seen the steepest rise of any six-month period since the survey launched seven years ago.

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The average price of a dish across all outlets has risen 6.4% year-on-year, from £6.29 to £6.69, with a 5.7% rise in the past six months.

The average cost of a starter is now £5.59 (up 5.6% in the past six months), a main course is now £10.62 (up 7%) and a dessert averages at £4.20 (up 4.2%).

These rises are significantly above RPI inflation of 2.7% (January 2013), the company pointed out.

Additionally, the research showed that describing a menu ingredient as ‘local’ has become one of the top five terms used on menus, joining ‘homemade’, ‘free range’, ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ as the most frequently used terms.

The use of food provenance labels has risen nearly 18% in the past two years, Horizons said.

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