Restaurant Business Online
The pandemic has apparently led to higher prices for fast food.
Earlier this month, we ordered delivery from Chick-fil-A for my family of four and the next day visited a local full-service Mexican restaurant.
The price, after the tip, was about the same for both visits.
According to federal data, prices at limited-service restaurants, like Chick-fil-A, have increased every month since the pandemic began. In January alone, prices soared 6.2%. By contrast, monthly price increases at full-service restaurants have hovered around 2.8%.
The difference can likely be explained in two words: Demand and wages.
In the pandemic era, demand at limited-service restaurants has far exceeded demand at full-service restaurants.
Quick-service restaurants haven’t had that problem. Delivery, drive-thru and takeout all became vital in the post-pandemic world. Consumers lined up for blocks at Chick-fil-A drive thrus and ordered delivery at three times the rate they did in the previous year.
That tends to result in higher prices because operators, not worried about losing that business, felt free to raise prices. And consumers are loaded with cash and not spending it on anything else.