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Inflation fee added to Virginia restaurant menu: ‘We hope you understand’

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Inflation has a widespread impact on Americans, including food and restaurant prices. A Virginia restaurant even added “inflation fees” to its menu, saying “we hope you understand” in a message to its customers.

The Sunset Grill in Goochland brought the fee, writing on their menus: “With the skyrocketing costs of goods, materials and labor, we found it necessary to add an inflation fee 3.5% instead of constantly increasing menu prices. We hope you understand,” CBS 6 Richmond reported.

The restaurant’s balance sheet has been hit by supply chain issues, rising cost of goods and a drop in demand due to the pandemic that has not fully recovered.

Owner Leslie Whitney told the news station in an email: ‘Making menu changes based on daily price increases was unreasonable as we would have printed and reprinted two or three times. per week.”

A Google Street View photo of Sunset Grill in Goochland, Virginia. Sunset Grill has added “inflation fees” to its menu items to manage skyrocketing entry costs.Google Street View
Google Street View

Whitney and her husband thought carefully about what to do about it, hoping not to offend anyone with the expected extra charges.

“However, we knew we had to do something to recoup some of the lost money,” she told CBS 6.

Newsweek contacted Sunset Grill for comment.

Menu prices rose 7.7% between June 2021 and June 2022, the largest 12-month annual increase since 1981, according to the National Food Restaurant Association.

The association said the price increase was mainly due to rising input costs, especially food and labour. The producer price index for all food increased by 15.6% between May 2021 and May 2022, while the average hourly wage of catering staff increased by 10.1% compared to levels in the last year.

Despite soaring menu prices, gains lagged other consumer items, such as gasoline and energy. Prices for gasoline (+59.9%), natural gas (+38.4%) and electricity (13.7%) were all significantly higher than a year ago.

Eric Terry, president of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association, told the local television station that other restaurants may add a surcharge or credit card fees to mitigate rising inflation.

He said the industry has not fully recovered from the pandemic and rising menu costs will continue through the summer.

“We’ve lost nearly 20% of our restaurants in the state of Virginia and across the country, and I think the restaurant industry is still struggling to recruit workers so they can open a full schedule. or several days a week, or whatever they use to,” Terry said.

Inflation rate is highest in more than four decades, caused by a confluence of factors including pent-up demand from the pandemic, aggressive monetary policies in response to COVID-19 and instability in Eastern Europe due to Russia’s invasion of Russia. Ukraine.

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