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What does a possible recession mean for restaurants?

Unraveling consumer spending habits


Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.

Today, we’re talking about the impending recession and consumer spending habits.

It’s hard to get a pulse on the current consumer macroenvironment and how that applies to restaurants. We all know inflation has been a relentless beast. We know low-income consumers are getting hit particularly hard.

We know consumers are sick of the higher menu prices operators have implemented to protect their margins. In fact, they’ve now identified a threshold. New data from Revenue Management Solutions finds pricing increases beyond 10-to-13% affects traffic. Food-away-from-home inflation is up 8.5% this year, so on average, restaurants fall below that threshold. That’s not to say consumers are thrilled, however. A new report from Yelp finds that consumers are increasingly searching for cheaper dining options, as searches related to quick-service and fast casual concepts are up by 10% versus the second quarter, and up by 8% year-over-year.

But the bigger picture is far more nuanced than that.

Hear more from executive editor Alicia Kelso.

Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode. 

Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.

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