ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Inflation is leading many restaurants to increase their prices. Many in the community like Susan Vogle say that it has just become too expensive for her to go out anymore. “For a friend and I to go to a restaurant to eat, it is $40. And that’s not an expensive restaurant that we go to,” Vogle said, “I don’t really like to cook that much. So going out to eat is it’s easier than cooking.”
Even those who work in the industry are eating out less. “I wait tables. So I notice how much things have gone up. And if I can keep my pocketbook a little leaner then I’m going to,” said Mike Fowler, a server.
According to the New Mexico Restaurant Association, menu prices are 6.8% higher in the state. Restaurants are taking an even bigger hit, with their wholesale costs up 15.8%. Retail grocery store prices are up by an average of 8%.
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Many of these restaurants are paying more for less and that’s if they can even get the products in the first place. “Basically, proteins have doubled in price. That’s been the biggest thing that’s affecting us. The next are kind of produce, they’re about 25 to 35% up. A couple of the issues that we’re having with dairy products, like we can’t get cream cheese right now,” said Matt DiGregory, owner of The Range Cafe.
To make up for increased costs, some restaurants have had to cut hours for their workers or change their schedules. Things don’t look like they will be changing anytime soon. “It’s just not the same world we were living in three years ago, two years ago,” said Vogle.
The New Mexico Restaurant Association is advising restaurants not to print menus, because it’s expensive, and they expect menu prices to continue rising.