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Menu prices up by six per cent, says new survey

08 | 04 | 13

The cost of eating out has risen, according to a new survey.

Horizons' Menurama report found that restaurants and pubs have raised their menu prices by six per cent in the past six months.

This is a result of needing to pass on increasing food costs to customers and to offset the expense of running special offers such as meal deals and vouchers.

These findings are based on Horizons' latest biannual Menurama research, which tracks menu changes in 116 chain hotels, pubs, restaurants and quick-service venues.

Average dish prices across all outlets have risen by 6.4 per cent year-on-year, growing from £6.29 to £6.69, with a 5.7 per cent increase in the past six months.

This represents the biggest growth in any six-month period since the survey launched in 2006.

The typical price for a starter is now £5.59, which has increased by 5.6 per cent in the past six months. Main courses cost an average of £10.62, which is a rise of seven per cent, and the price of desserts has grown by 4.2 per cent to £4.20.

These increases are significantly above the inflation growth rate for January 2013, which was 2.7 per cent.

However, this has not deterred people from eating out. A survey by lastminute.com, which was conducted in January, found that the number of Britons buying meals in restaurants is higher now than three years ago.

This is welcome news for catering equipment suppliers, who stand to benefit from the opening of new restaurants that may occur as a result of this demand.

The Menurama survey also highlighted the changing nature of menus, with an increase in the 'premiumisation' of dishes.

This refers to the renaming or rebranding of meals as 'premium' products. Examples are All Bar One’s handmade beef and coriander burger, Best Western’s sausage and caramelised red onion bap, Ember Inns’ fish goujonettes and Frankie and Benny’s salt and pepper scampi.

“Operators are adding twists to old favourites to make them stand out on the menu - they are getting better at describing dishes too, so what was once listed as an ‘apple pie’ is now a ‘Cox’s apple pie’, and nachos are ‘home fried nachos’,” Nicola Knight, Horizons director of services, stated.

There has also been a rise in the use of provenance statements, such as ‘local sourcing’, ‘free range’ and ‘homemade’.

It is becoming increasingly popular to include British dishes on menus, such as Eton mess and Bakewell tart.

'Local' has become of the top five terms used on menus to describe ingredients, while the use of food provenance labels has grown by nearly 18 per cent since the summer of 2010.

“Menus are really reflecting the changing nature of how British consumers eat out - the fact dining out is a treat, that it’s a chance to indulge in something more luxurious than you would have at home and for many it’s a chance to share food with friends," Ms Knight stated.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801567750-ADNFCR


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