Inflation hits diners as CEO of 43 restaurants in the US saying he’s been forced to up prices

Inflation hits diners in the pocket as restaurateur with 43 eateries across the US revealing he’s been forced to DOUBLE price increases on the menu: ‘This is the worst cost environment I’ve ever operated in’

  • Cameron Mitchell, who owns 43 restaurants across the US, said he’s doubled regular price increases of 3.5 percent to 7 percent due to inflation
  • Mitchell, 75, said this is the ‘worst cost environment’ he’s seen in his 42 years in the business with inflation remaining stubbornly high at 7.7 percent 
  • He noted that costumers would not tolerate anymore increases on the menu
  • A survey of more than 900 restauranteurs in the US indicated that 36 percent of eateries have upped prices as a direct result of inflation    

A restaurateur behind 43 eateries across the US says he’s been forced to double price increases on the menu due to inflation.

Cameron Mitchell said that while prices would normally be raised 3.5 percent throughout a given year, he’s now had to bump it up to 7 percent.

The 75-year-old CEO of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants said that he’s had no choice but to take the aggressive approach as inflation remains stubbornly high at 7.7 percent after peaking to a 40-year high in June. 

‘In my 42 years in the restaurant business, this has been the worst cost environment I’ve ever operated in,’ he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Friday morning. ‘I’ve never seen this before.’ 

The price hike comes as Americans are also bracing for the highest gas prices ever for the Thanksgiving holiday season.  

Cameron Mitchell owns 43 restaurants across the US and said he had to double regular price increases of 3.5 percent to 7 percent due to inflation

Cameron Mitchell owns 43 restaurants across the US and said he had to double regular price increases of 3.5 percent to 7 percent due to inflation 

October statistics - the most recent available - show inflation sitting at 7.7 percent

October statistics – the most recent available – show inflation sitting at 7.7 percent

Mitchell said the costs of ingredients have gone up 9.5 percent, and while staffing is almost at what it was prior to the pandemic, hourly labor costs have cone up 10 percent. 

As the company prepares to open four new locations in Tampa, Las Vegas, and Columbus, the cost of construction has gone up 35 percent. 

Mitchell said while overall profits are down 8 percent, his restaurants have been able to maintain high sales revenue because of the price increases. 

‘Our consumers are probably at their limit in terms of tolerating price,’ Mitchell noted, ‘but they know we need to charge more.’ 

The company has 23 restaurants in Ohio, alone, including the popular Avenue Steak Taverns and Cap City Fine Diner. 

It also owns the Ocean Prime chain, which has locations in New York City, Dallas, Boston, Washington D.C. and other major cities. 

Mitchell said that while his company was staying afloat, he’s worried about whether independent restaurants will be able to keep up with the high inflation.  

‘The cost everywhere has been skyrocketing,’ he said. 

Mitchell said costumers would not tolerate anymore increases on the menu. Pictured, costumers dining at the Del mar Naples, in Florida

Mitchell said costumers would not tolerate anymore increases on the menu. Pictured, costumers dining at the Del mar Naples, in Florida 

Mitchell owns 23 locations in Ohio, alone, including the popular Lincoln Social Rooftop location in Columbus

Mitchell owns 23 locations in Ohio, alone, including the popular Lincoln Social Rooftop location in Columbus 

According to a Toast survey, which polled more than 900 restauranteurs, 36 percent of eateries have had to increase menu prices as a direct result of inflation. 

The survey also indicated that nearly 40 percent of restaurants had started tracking prices of key ingredients, and about 30 percent have substituted lower-cost ingredients. 

About 38 percent of respondents also said they’ve had to adjust the number of food suppliers they use, and 31 percent said they’ve reduced items offered on the menu. 

A survey of more than 900 restauranteurs in the US indicated that 36 percent of eateries have upped prices as a direct result of inflation

A survey of more than 900 restauranteurs in the US indicated that 36 percent of eateries have upped prices as a direct result of inflation

October statistics – the most recent available – show inflation sitting at 7.7 percent. That’s down from the 40 year-high of 9.1 percent recorded in June, although it’s still causing crippling rises in the cost of living for many Americans. 

Meanwhile, several experts told Bloomberg Thursday that they expect the inflation to last at least another year. 

They also warned that tapering off interest rate rises too soon could worsen the problem, by convincing Americans that the crisis was over.

They fear that could prompt them to loosen their purse springs and cause a fresh surge in prices as demand for goods and services soars. 

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the cities where inflation is hitting the hardest

In October, Phoenix reported an inflation rate of 12.1 percent on certain goods, the highest in the nation

In October, Phoenix reported an inflation rate of 12.1 percent on certain goods, the highest in the nation 

A week ago, it was announced that inflation moderated in the United States last month, in a sign that the price increases that have hammered Americans are easing as the economy slows and consumers grow more cautious.

Despite the good news, figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that some cities are still considered to be hotbeds of inflation. 

In October, Phoenix reported an inflation rate of 12.1 percent on certain goods. That’s down 0.9 percent from the city’s record high of 13 percent which was reported earlier this year. 

It’s believed that inflation is hitting the area hardest because Phoenix is also one of the fastest-growing places in the country – meaning that food, gas, and housing supplies can’t keep up. 

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