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How operators' 1967 labor and food costs concerns compare to 2016

How operators' 1967 labor and food costs concerns compare to 2016

Follow the Nation’s Restaurant News Throw Back Thursday campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #NRN50Years as the brand celebrates its 50 year anniversary.

Nation's Restaurant News cartoonThen: Costs for labor and food were on the rise in 1967. News of McDonald’s raising burger prices from 15 cents to 18 cents made the cover of NRN’s Jan. 2, 1967 issue.

By the time NRN put out its Jan. 16, 1967, issue, other chains had joined in on the price hikes.

Royal Castle System went to 18 cents for burgers. Burger Boy started talks about increases.

Burger Chef planned to hold the price line, calling itself the “number one 15 cent hamburger system in America ... admittedly by default,” in a company letter from the president Frank Thomas, obtained by NRN.

White Castle, too, planned to keep burger prices to a low 12 cents, a price the chain originally set in 1950, NRN reported.

Now: Food prices are coming down to earth after years of increases (read about the impact of falling beef prices), but restaurants are still trying to find the right pricing as they balance local minimum wage increases, NRN senior financial editor Jonathan Maze wrote in a recent column.

“Consumers notice when restaurants increase prices,” he wrote. “And if they view prices rising at a higher rate than they expect, they might be less inclined to eat out — especially when they see their prices for steak and ground beef and chicken all falling at the local grocery store."

Contact Jenna Telesca at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @jennatelesca

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