Operators face 'significant challenge managing costs and attracting footfall' as menu sizes and prices rise

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality operators face 'significant challenge managing costs and attracting footfall' as menu sizes and prices rise

Related tags: Lumina Intelligence, Casual dining, Menu, Price increases, Inflation

Menus across the UK eating and drinking out market grew in size between February and April 2022, according to data from Lumina Intelligence’s Menu Tracker, with average prices also increasing.

On average, the price of a dish on operator menus is £6.97, up 2.5% since February 2022. Coffee and sandwich shop prices have increased by 4.8% from February to April 2022, the largest rise across the market versus chain restaurants (+2.2%), pubs and bars (+3.1%) and QSR (-0.3%).

Mains and sides are seeing the largest amount of inflation at +7.1% and +7.7%, respectively. The average cost of a chain restaurant main has increased by +£1.34 (+12.0%) from February-April 2022, as operators focus increases on the most commonly purchased courses.

Meanwhile, the price of drinks on menus has risen by 1.9% from February to April 2022, with coffee and sandwich shops implementing the largest rises.

Increases are currently focused on the non-alcoholic drinks category, with operators capitalising on seasonal events including Easter and the beginning of spring by launching more expensive drink ranges.

Alcoholic drinks in pubs & bars rose in price by 2.4% in the period.

Size of operator menus increase

Menus across restaurants, pubs & bars, QSR and sandwich and coffee shops have an average of 132 food and drink items, up 1.8% from February to April 2022.

Pubs and bars have the largest offering across both food and drink menus (219 items on average), with large offerings of spirits, wines and burgers, up 1.4% versus February 2022. Item counts in chain restaurants have increased 5.6% to 123; and QSR they are up 4.3% to 79. In contrast, item counts in sandwich and coffee shops has declined 2.3% to 107.

Growth is being driven by drinks, as operators expand ranges to tempt consumers into purchasing drinks to boost average spend. Pubs & bars have on average 127 drink items on menus, up 0.8% from February to April 2022.

“Price increases are being driven by food menus overall,” remarks Katherine Prowse, 

​Operators are passing price rises on as a result of the inflation surrounding food costs from the war in Ukraine, spike in cost of fuel and supply shortages.

“With inflation expected to continue to rise, operators face a significant challenge around managing costs and attracting footfall, as consumers monitor their expenses as the cost of living continues to increase.

​Using our data, we will keeping a very close eye on this trend.”

Find out more about Lumina Intelligence’s Menu Tracker here​.

Related topics: Trends & Reports, Casual Dining

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