Rising Costs Squeeze Fast-Food Chains amid Shifting Consumer Habits

Eating out is getting more expensive, pushing food fans to change where they eat. Prices for quick meals and snacks jumped 28%, and sit-down places went up 24% from 2019 to 2023. This is more than the overall 19% price rise.

Jim Salera, an expert, points to high costs of goods but sees them easing. Yet, pay for workers keeps going up, hitting hard. In places like California, with a $20 an hour minimum wage, big food spots like Wingstop and Chipotle have to make customers pay more. This is showing in the money reports of big companies.

Yum Brands, which owns KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, had a tough start in 2024. McDonald’s is also finding it hard, blaming it on people being careful with money due to the tough money situation.

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