Lunch Prices are UP

Lunch at home
United States
October 7, 2016 11:11am CST
Since I retired, I started eating my main meal midday. We need the calories when we are up and doing things, so eating larger in the evening doesn’t really make sense. Of course, the way American culture is set up, people are at work, and pressured not to take time to eat at all in some places. Lately, I’ve noticed that lunch prices in my local restaurants have skyrocketed. It used to cost me around $20 for a full meal, with a glass of wine or a Margarita (when eating Mexican food) and a nice tip. Now, however, the bill runs over $30. Why? Since fewer people are eating out than they did before our big recession, you would think restaurants would want to draw people in midday. High prices make people want to stay at home, or brown bag it, if they are at work. I think twice about dining out a second time in a week since the prices have increased. By the way, that’s a pretty hefty jump, don’t you think? I might understand it if the prices went up 5% or 10%, but 50% is ridiculous. Have prices increased this much where you live?
19 people like this
20 responses
@Corbin5 (119896)
• United States
7 Oct 16
One would think it wise to lower prices to bring in more customers. Being a vegetarian, choices are rather limited in most restaurants, therefore, I do not frequent restaurants the majority of the time. If my husband is paying, I will accompany him and search for something that works for me.
5 people like this
@Corbin5 (119896)
• United States
7 Oct 16
@LoriAMoore I know!! I am so tired of restaurant salads!!
3 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
That's what I thought.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Oct 16
@LoriAMoore If you go to the same place often, talk to management. They do want people to return. The Mexican place I like stopped putting big chunks of carrots in their taco salad. I asked for carrots every time I order now, and they bring me some, without charge.
1 person likes this
• Defuniak Springs, Florida
7 Oct 16
I think it also depends on where you go and what your tastes are. We can feed all three of us at a sit down place with tip for under $30.
5 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
I could too if I went to Coco's or Denny's. Not going to either. I go to mid-range sit down places and avoid "fancy places" since their food is often hard for me to digest.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164465)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Oct 16
we have a lot of fast food places around here where you can dine pretty cheaplyu buit tjhe restairamts here you can still get great lunches for less than ten dollars.
5 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
I haven't been to a fast food place in over 20 years.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (137666)
• Bunbury, Australia
8 Oct 16
We would quite like to eat out more but prices here put us off too. Even a simple coffee with or without a cake or scone is expensive which is another reason why we like having the bus if we travel away. We can get as many of our own meals and coffees as we like.
4 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
I don't know why they've gone up so much. It doesn't make sense when they are hurting for business.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (137666)
• Bunbury, Australia
9 Oct 16
@ElizabethWallace That's exactly right. I mostly have weak black tea when we're out as the coffee is often too strong - but it costs me the same price as a fancy coffee. I know they have overheads but even so......
2 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 16
@JudyEv I guess they don't think we will notice.
2 people like this
@mom210 (6771)
• Atlanta, Georgia
7 Oct 16
Yes they have, and with my family, that really hurts. We have gone from eating out about every month to eating out about every three months. When we do, we tent to hit a buffet or pizza place, they seem to be the most "bang for our buck"
4 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
Yes, they are. But I can't eat at a buffet. Touchy digestion. The lowest priced place around here is a deli. They give 20% off for seniors too. Cool.
3 people like this
@mom210 (6771)
• Atlanta, Georgia
10 Oct 16
@ElizabethWallace I have noticed a lot of the restaurants here are setting up lunch deals. Buy this whole meal deal, for lunch for $5 like Longhorn, not sure if you have those there. I hope that you are able to find a cheaper solution.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 16
@mom210 I wish they all had lower prices at lunch, but often they keep them high so they make lots on the business lunch types.
2 people like this
@marlina (79730)
• Canada
7 Oct 16
The price of food has gone up so much during this year, that it was expected that the restaurant prices would go up.
4 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
Our prices are higher, theirs not as much. Retail is more expensive than wholesale, which is what they pay.
1 person likes this
@much2say (40568)
• United States
7 Oct 16
Eating out can be insane - especially since there are four of us. Yes - it seems like it costs an arm and a leg to just eat lunch . . . even though it's super convenient and of course yummy, your money can quickly go out the door . . . and even more if you add the tip! There is one place we have absolutely loved for years - and we've noticed throughout the years the prices have been creeping up. But now the prices are almost 50% higher and it seems like the portions are smaller.
3 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
Portions are still huge here, which lets me take lots home.
2 people like this
@much2say (40568)
• United States
9 Oct 16
@ElizabethWallace I guess it depends on the restaurant . . . the one we love use to have massive portions (well, maybe that's not a good thing) and it was totally worth going to. I know restaurants have to do what they need to do to make their profits, but it doesn't help that we've seen the history of this place - how the prices/portions have changed.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 16
@much2say I don't mind large portions anymore, since I'm retired and can take the excess home to freeze.
2 people like this
@pgntwo (22755)
• Tripoli, Lebanon
7 Oct 16
A cartel, you think?
3 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
No idea.
2 people like this
@pgntwo (22755)
• Tripoli, Lebanon
9 Oct 16
@ElizabethWallace Or perhaps they charge what the local clientele will pay... Time to vote with your feet.
3 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 16
@pgntwo Yes, I often do that.
2 people like this
@zebra2222 (5195)
• United States
7 Oct 16
Some prices certainly have shot up. Not a way to get my business.
3 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
Makes me wonder who is in charge.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22654)
• Canada
7 Oct 16
I guess I haven"t paid enough attention. I jusg know prices have gone up.
3 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
When you eat in the same places, like I do, you tend to notice.
2 people like this
@nanette64 (18090)
• Fairfield, Texas
7 Oct 16
I only eat once a day too @ElizabethWallace and that is at about 1pm. I cook my meal, so it is cheap.
3 people like this
• United States
8 Oct 16
I guess I wasn't clear. Midday is my biggest meal, not my only one. I eat three meals and two snacks daily, just not much.
3 people like this
@DeborahDiane (24335)
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Oct 16
@ElizabethWallace - That is a huge jump! I agree that eating out once in a week is plenty. By the way, are we still planning to meet in the coming week at one of our usual places?
2 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
8 Oct 16
Let us know how the prices are if you do.
2 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
9 Oct 16
@DeborahDiane That may be it. Trader Joe still has great deals. There is an Australian red called 19 Crimes that is worth three times its seven dollar price.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
Yes, of course. Would you prefer the one with the big booths or the other place?
@moffittjc (46399)
• Gainesville, Florida
9 Oct 16
Isn't California one of the states that started paying it's workers $15 minimum wage? If so, to me that's the answer of why your lunch prices have increased so much. But then again, prices in general in California are astronomical to begin with, so maybe it's not just the wage thing. But if you look at states in the deep south, where sometimes the minimum wage is $7.67 or whatever the federal amount is, and if they ever raise the minimum wage to $15 in those states, our meal prices will double!
2 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 16
Doubling the wage does not mean the cost of the meal doubles, rent, lighting, a/c, food, etc. all goes into the equation. It might go up some, but not this much. By the way, food service workers are exempt from minimum wage requirements.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (46399)
• Gainesville, Florida
11 Oct 16
@ElizabethWallace I'm just happy I don't live in California. Every time I visit, I have a heart attack when I see the prices on everything! I don't know how anyone affords to live out there!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Oct 16
@moffittjc We learn how to manage our money. Those who can't often move away. Sad people cannot afford to live in the state where they were born.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
8 Oct 16
That is a huge jump. I would seek out some new restaurants and see it is the case elsewhere.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
That's problematic. I have digestive issues and have to be careful. Experimenting with new places is scary.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
9 Oct 16
@ElizabethWallace That has to be a big part of the decision then.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Oct 16
@JamesHxstatic Yup. Such is life.
1 person likes this
@Marty1 (36930)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
8 Oct 16
@elizabethwallace I only eat out when I go out with my sister. WE went to Arby's Monday, and it was 18 dollars between the two of us. Granted my sister insisted i get extra food for dinner that night it was still rather steep.Have not been to a fancy restaurant in years! Yes, i t is a steep price increase, I like to save money and eat my limited repertoire of things i know how to make! at least in don't give my wallet a headache!
2 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
I often buy food that lets me take home enough for three more meals. But sometimes, it's just one serving. Yikes.
1 person likes this
@Marty1 (36930)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
9 Oct 16
@ElizabethWallace I usually go to fast food restaurants, and i get a whole different meal to take home for the next day. But i am lucky i don't have to worry about the price as my sister insists on paying. She has enough money for everything
2 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 16
@Marty1 That's nice of her.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (88397)
• United States
9 Oct 16
Prices have gone up in our area restaurants, but I assume it is due to farm fresh and organic products. The price doesn't stop us from enjoying dining out or ordering in.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 16
Me neither, but it is illogical so that bothers me. Price brings in traffic. I don't want the places to fail.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (71438)
• Roseburg, Oregon
9 Oct 16
I am not sure about price increases because we have only lived here for three months.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 16
Okay, Then this is your baseline. Watch and see what happens.
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (34216)
• Canada
8 Oct 16
Dining out for lunch is quickly becoming just as costly as it is for supper in our area also. I suppose a lot of it has to do with the soaring prices of the food and the constantly climbing inflation, the costs for paying the employees and so on. I try to eat lighter at supper time since I don't do a lot after eating that meal, and try to make a meal that I could easier work off for my mid day meal which I eat at work.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Oct 16
I blame people eating on expense accounts.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14610)
• United Kingdom
16 Oct 16
To us it is incredibly cheap to eat out in the USA compared to the UK. We much prefer to eat at home anyway. I never eat out at lunch time and usually eat a sandwich on the hoof if at all!
@RitzzView (2758)
• India
11 Oct 16
Isn't it 10% when it goes up from 20$ to 30$???