How Brands and Restaurants Can Communicate Changing Prices With the Rising Price of Ingredients
Rising prices in the food market due to inflation have made it necessary for consumers and restaurants to get more creative. The pandemic has had a severe impact on restaurants. While customers had to stay home to stay safe, restaurants had to adapt. Their only options were to offer food deliveries and digital orders, or close down. As lockdowns ended, restaurants started to open for business again, but many consumers continued to cut back on their visits due to the rise in prices, largely due to inflation. The supply chain and labor shortages have also been making restaurants struggle on top of the challenges of inflation. Restaurants have had to carefully monitor the increasing food costs and start adapting in order to keep up.
Trying to adapt
The rising food costs have left restaurants struggling to keep their prices low while still providing the high-quality dishes their customers expect. To combat all these issues, a lot of restaurants have decided to start getting creative with their dishes. Some restaurants have started reducing portion sizes, to cut down on the costs associated with each menu item. Others have started using lower quality ingredients in their dishes. Ingredients that don’t look perfect used to be thrown out to make dishes more visually appealing, but this is no longer always the case. Many restaurants have noted that a lot of patrons didn’t seem to notice the change. Finally, some restaurants have adapted to the inflation by locally sourcing some of their necessary ingredients to cut down costs.
Explaining the increase
Rising prices and inflation aren’t a big secret, which means restaurant-goers expect prices to increase. While a price increase won’t be surprising, it is still something that needs a delicate approach. The key to introducing increased prices without putting off customers is transparency. Below, we offer some successful strategies for restaurants to transparently communicate changes in pricing:
- Let customers know in advance that prices could be fluctuating and explain how increased supplier costs have made it necessary.
- While customers need to know that the restaurant understands their concerns, many understand the tumultuous nature of the restaurant industry in the past few years and may be sympathetic to proprietors’ needs to adapt to survive. Restaurants should explain that, while the business is sympathetic, all other options have been exhausted and there is no choice but to increase prices or shut down.
- Where possible, restaurants can offer customers coupons or a membership rewards program that will offset the sting of paying higher prices. If customers feel that they are saving some money, the price increase won’t be as upsetting.