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Sit-Down Restaurants Compete Against Fast-Food Chains Amid Increased Menu Prices

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Sit-Down Restaurants Compete Against Fast-Food Chains Amid Increased Menu Prices
Source: Pinterest

Sit-Down Restaurants Compete Against Fast-Food Chains Amid Increased Menu Prices

Source: Pinterest

Due to the high cost of food and labor, fast-food restaurants have recently increased the prices of their menu items. Their customers have been complaining about the sudden increments, and some have started to cut back on eating out. 

Given these latest developments, some sit-down restaurants have decided to take advantage of this opportunity to compete against fast food chains despite increased prices on their menus. 

Fast Food Restaurants Experienced Steady Increments in Prices of Food Menu

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Fast food restaurants have been experiencing a steady increase in their prices of food items for almost a decade now. This increase started as a gradual process but started to get worse after the breakout of COVID-19 in 2020. 

But recently, it has become somehow inconvenient for some of their beloved customers as people started to complain about the need to cut the way they eat outside. Over the years, Panera bread prices have increased by 54%, McDonald’s food menu has increased by 100%, and Subway prices have gone up 39%. So many other fast food restaurants have similar increased prices. 

ALSO READ: Other Workers Demand Minimum Wage Increase After California Fast-Food Workers Wage Hike

New Competition

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Recently, sit-down restaurants have been trying to compete with fast-food restaurants with their updated prices. Applebee’s and Chili are sit-down restaurants with expensive food, but now, food can be gotten at almost the same prices as fast-food restaurants. 

According to John Peyton, the CEO of Applebee’s parent company, Dine Brands, burgers can now be purchased at Applebees for $9.99. 

Chili Makes Comparison With Fast Food Restaurants

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Chili is another sit-down restaurant that is competing with fast-food restaurants. On its social media page on X, Chili has been posting recent attacks on fast-food restaurants. 

Chili has been comparing its food prices with fast food. In response to a post about how some of its locations are shutting down, Chili said, “Fast food planted this because they are scared of our prices.”

Chilis Gave a Quick Response to a User on X

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On X, a user posted a dissatisfaction with having to order for 20$ to 30$ at fast food restaurants when the same amount of money could have been spent at Chilis. 

Chilis saw the post and gave a quick response with the caption, “Fast food is quacking.”

Chilis Advertises Products on X Amid Rising Cost of Fast Food

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Chili seems to take the competition against fast food seriously as they also quote a CNBC post on X with a response that got likes and engagement. CNBC posted about the rising cost of fast food. 

The post noted how people can get a drink, chips, burgers, and fries for just $10.99. Chilis ended the post with “ur fav could never.”

Emphasis on Forcing Customers To Use Apps

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Fast-food restaurants have increased the prices of their food menus, which makes people pay more for what they can buy at almost the same prices as sit-down restaurants. 

To get a better discount at fast-food restaurants, they try to make their customers use their apps to get discounts on their purchases. This seems to be cheaper than going directly to the restaurant to buy. 

 

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Reasons for Increase of Food Prices at Fast Food Restaurants

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The constant increase in the prices of fast foods is due to different factors. In the country, general inflation makes the cost of goods and services more expensive than it used to be. 

In June 2022, inflation reportedly rose to 9.1%. Also, wages increased in some states like California, which added to the need for fast food to increase their workers’ wages. All of these left fast food with no choice but to increase the prices of its food menu. 

Low-Income Consumers Switch to Eating at Home

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The rise in the cost of fast food has made people switch to eating at home. Fast food used to be one of the cheapest options for getting easy food, but now, many people have to choose cooking at home instead. 

According to McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski at an investor call in February, he said that eating at home has become more affordable. He further pointed out that this affects low-income consumers more. 

Prices of Goods at Grocery Stores Are Cheaper

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One reason it’s more affordable to eat at home instead of fast food is that grocery prices have recently been reducing. Also, some of those inflated prices at grocery stores have not been rising as fast food prices. 

According to statistics, the prices of items at grocery stores have only risen by just 1.3 percent in over a year, while fast food prices have risen by 5.2 percent.

Intense Competition Between Fast Food and Sit-Down Restaurants

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The competition between fast-food restaurants and sit-down restaurants is becoming intense. Customers now see almost no difference between the two brands in terms of recent prices of items. 

A senior principal at Technomic, a food industry research and consulting firm, David Henkes, pointed out that the quantity of some fast-food items is now smaller than it used to be; Henkes said it’s just like competing for a share of a smaller market, which makes it more competitive. 

 

ALSO READ: Bad News for Staff as California Fast Food Chains Discover Ways to Bypass Raising Minimum Wages

Time Factor as a Consideration

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One of the considerations between fast food and sit-down restaurants is the time factor. As the name implies, “fast food” is more like a pickup situation without having to wait. 

But in the case of sit-down restaurants, you will surely need to wait for some minutes or hours before your order arrives. 

Important Factor of Sit-Down Restaurant Compared to Fast Restaurant

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People go to sit-down restaurants for different reasons. It is a place where you can have a lengthy conversation while waiting without needing to rush up. 

Sit-down restaurants can be used for small business discussions, family gatherings, dates with your favorite person, etc. You can also conveniently eat your food at the same location you bought it, and the price is also friendly amid the rise in food prices at fast food restaurants. On the other hand, fast food is mainly for pick-ups and takeouts and is becoming more expensive. 

 

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