An ongoing theme in the Q4 earnings season was menu price increases at restaurants. Chains across every segment, from quick service to casual dining, are raising prices for a variety of reasons: Increased labor costs, increased food costs, general inflation.
At least 12 such restaurants directly addressed these menu price increases in their most recent earnings calls. Many executives expressed optimism, with Wingstop chief financial officer Alex Kaleida believing the worst of wing inflation is past and CFO Craig Pommells saying the company has room to further raise prices throughout the year. Executives agreed that customers are not put off by the increases so far.
That may be about to change, however, with the Yelp Economic Index showing in January that customer reviews mentioning price increases grew 29% from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021.
While not directly increasing menu prices, Domino’s changed its menu deals in January in anticipation of wage inflation and increased food costs. The $7.99 carryout offer changed from 10 wings to eight, and is now offered online only.
Meanwhile, First Watch, the family-dining chain that had a successful IPO last year, is intentionally staving off price hikes in favor of focusing on traffic.
Of course, all of these calls took place before the Russian attack on Ukraine, which is already impacting the economy in countless ways and will only continue to do so.
Look through this gallery to see 12 restaurant chains that are talking about and increasing menu prices in 2022.