The Inflation News Restaurant-Goers Have Been Waiting For

Anyone who has participated in the economy in any way this year (which is, by and large, all of us) can confirm that inflation has been rampant. In April, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was up by an astonishing 8.3% globally, and in the United States alone, inflation rates were the highest they had been in 40 years (via World Economic Forum). Inflation is an inevitable principle of economics, but with the world re-opening after COVID-19 closures, the sudden spike in consumer demand has brought prices to historic highs. The war in Ukraine is also contributing to these staggering rates by disrupting global financial markets.

As consumers, we all know that inflation extends to every aspect of the economy. This includes all of our basic necessities, from clothing to gas to, of course, food. According to the World Economic Forum, from February to March, the monthly food price index measured by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) increased 12.6%, the highest increase in over 20 years. As dismal as these figures appear to be, there is hope on the horizon, especially for foodies.

An end in sight

For those who love to dine out, rising menu prices have been an especially heartbreaking result of inflation. Establishments that were once considered affordable to all, like Wendy's and Burger King, are now setting customers back extra dollars (via Nation's Restaurant News).

The good news is that figures published by QSR Magazine reveal that the inflation rate for "food away from home" may have finally peaked in June. This includes sit down restaurants, fast food chains, and basically any commercial food establishment. This is not to say that prices are finally back to where they once were, but rather, the rate at which prices are inflating is starting to slow down. The food away from home index in June was 7.7%, and decreased to 7.6% in July.

While it may still pain your heart (and your wallet) to look at your bill once you've finished your meal at your favorite restaurant, this deceleration is a promising sign. It's a small step, but at least it's one in the right direction.