Menu prices registered strongest increase in 11 years

Menu-price growth accelerated in recent months, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Menu prices rose 3.5 percent in the 12 months ending August 2020, which represented the strongest 12-month growth since 2009.

Growth was driven by the limited-service segment, which saw prices rise 4.8 percent in the 12 months ending August. This was also the segment’s strongest 12-month increase since 2009.

Fullservice restaurant prices increased at a comparatively modest 2.8 percent rate in the 12 months ending August 2020. 

On a regional level, menu prices posted the strongest growth in the West (5.3 percent) and Northeast (3.4 percent) regions. Menu prices increased 2.6 percent in the South region and 2.5 percent in the Midwest.

Grocery store prices increased 4.6 percent in the 12 months ending August 2020, which was down from a 5.6 percent gain in June.

Overall consumer prices rose 1.3 percent during the last 12 months, which represented the largest 12-month gain since March.

Track more economic indicators and read more analysis and commentary from the Association's chief economist Bruce Grindy.