gas pump

The unexpected impact of gas prices on the restaurant industry

Sebastián Fernández is chief research officer of Revenue Management Solutions, an authority on menu pricing and restaurant management. This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of Nation’s Restaurant News.

The retail price of gasoline is one of the most obvious costs that consumers see every day. The question for many restaurant owners is: If gas prices start rising, will it hurt consumer confidence, and, in turn, my business?

One thing is clear: From our work with the restaurant industry, we’ve seen that the negative impact of higher gas prices on restaurants tends to be stronger than the positive impact when gas prices are low.

When gas prices are lower, instead of thi

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