Rising consumer costs could start raising restaurant menu prices

Plate preparation at Two Olives Restaurant in northeast Wichita
Plate preparation at Two Olives Restaurant in northeast Wichita(KWCH 12)
Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 7:00 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that inflation rose by five percent since from May 2020 to May 2021. That’s the biggest 12-month inflation spike since the 2008 financial crisis. It could force some restaurants and caterers to increase menu prices as their costs also keep rising.

“The price of food has gone up tremendously and I can see it,” said Two Olives Restaurant Chef and Co-owner Randa Toubia. “It’s (been) creeping up in the last couple of months.”

In the last few months, Toubia said she has seen more people dining in at the restaurant, just about the same time that prices have been increasing.

“Just the chicken has gone up, it’s double than it was before All beef prices have gone up, maybe 50 percent up,” she said.

At Two Olives near 29th and Rock Road, in northeast Wichita, Restaurant Manager Ivan Guzman understands the struggles in the food industry.

“We need to hire people because the activity’s come back to normality,” he said. “And yes, I think this situation is not just this restaurant. It’s everywhere.”

Guzman said he also feels the struggle at the grocery store.

“Limes and lemons (are) expensive now. You go to a Mexican store, six months ago you can buy 15 lemons for $1. Right now, it’s only three lemons for $1,” he said.

With costs increasing with demand, prices on the menu likely will go up, Guzman said.

“Of course, we’re going to have to. “We have to do what we have to do, like everybody else,” he said.

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