Menu Price Jump – Is it Time to Increase Menu Prices

If your menu features appetizers and entrees with steak, avocados, limes and cheese, it is time to evaluate your menu prices. Increasing costs of these key ingredients in Mexican cuisine has national chain Chipotle raising its menu prices. The price of limes is as much as 4 times the price it was just one year ago.  My calculations show an increase in ingredient costs of 28% since a year ago.  Some ingredient costs have lowered (cheese) or stayed relatively the same (rice and lettuce).

Let’s look at the local cost impact of these items:

2013                      2014

5oz steak                                            2.14                        2.30
3oz avocado                                       0.15                        0.20
3oz cheddar cheese                          1.06                        0.72
2oz green peppers                            0.27                        0.30
2oz lettuce                                         0.12                        0.11
2oz tomato                                        0.18                        0.20
½ lime                                               1.00                        2.00

3oz Rice                                              0.14                        0.14

___                        ___

Total                                                   $5.06                     $5.97

Average price increases are expected to be around 2% by year end.  Other foods that will see a more significant increase in 2014 include beef, bread, wild fish, and chocolate.  Will there be anything cheaper in 2014? Yes, corn products and pork are two products anticipated to show the largest decline in price.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Average Retail Food and Energy Prices;,  The, USDA National Dairy Retail Report, Great American Group Food Monitor,