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Wholesale food price inflation highest in 3 years: NRA

Year-to-date wholesale food prices are up 5.3%, the highest rate in three years, according to the National Restaurant Association.

The augmented prices are driven by high inflation of commodities like butter (39%), pork (22%), eggs (20%) and beef (18%).

Restaurants have not been passing all of the increased costs onto consumers. Year-to-date restaurant menu price inflation stands at 2.3%. In comparison, grocery store prices are up 2.2% this year and the general inflation rate stands at 1.7%, said the NRA.

The association related the wholesale price increases in its latest monthly Restaurant Performance Index report released on Monday. In October, the RPI was 102.8, an increase of 1.8% over September.

“Restaurant operators reported improvements in same-store sales and traffic conditions, and this was definitely aided by the continued decrease in retail gasoline prices,” Hudson Riehle, SVP research and knowledge, said in a video explaining the report.

In addition, the restaurant industry added 41,800 new jobs in October.

“So far, on a year-to-year basis industry employment growth is almost double what has gone on in the national economy,” said Riehle. The NRA said the restaurant job creation rate is 3% so far this year.

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