A restaurant check, bills, and change in a tray.
Your Restaurant Check May Soon Include An 'Inflation Fee'
By Elias Nash
The food industry has been hit particularly hard by inflation in recent times, and the USDA found that food prices rose 10.1% between January 2022 and January 2023. Now, another big change could be coming, so if you haven't seen it already, prepare to face a new charge when you get the check: an inflation fee.
Between the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact that Americans are eating out less, and the rising cost of ingredients, many restaurants have already started implementing inflation fees. These fees vary by location — The Fly Trapp, a Detroit area breakfast spot, added a 4% surcharge while Che Fico, an upscale Italian eatery in San Francisco, implemented a 10% fee.
Inflation is volatile, so if food prices continue to rise, restaurants may need to increase their inflation fees, and if prices drop, they may lower or eliminate them. If a restaurant responded to these fluctuations by changing its menu fees, it would have to repeatedly print new menus, which is why many are choosing to add an inflation fee instead.