Operators have increased the price of menu items by 1.5% since lockdown ended, against the prior year, according to the latest piece of monthly analysis from Lumina Intelligence’s Menu Tracker.
The average price of a same-line dish in spring/summer 2019 was £9.82. Since lockdown was lifted, however, the average price of same-line dishes has risen to £9.97.
On a dish-by-dish level, 37% of dishes have risen in price, 46% have remained the same price and 18% have had their price reduced.
At a course level, however, the average price of same-line starters fell by 1.1%. Main dishes saw the biggest increase at 2%, while desserts and sides increased by 1.4% and 0.7% respectively.
Katherine Prowse, insight manager at Lumina Intelligence said: “The UK’s inflation rate has fallen over the past 18 months. Menu inflation has fallen across four menu seasons but continues to remain ahead of CPI inflation.
“Despite the financial strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic, operators have restrained from making significant price increases.”
She added: “The Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August and VAT cuts have been implemented to support operators, so they don’t have to hike prices and risk alienating themselves from the competition.
“Further Lumina Intelligence highlights the importance of value in driving consumer footfall post-lockdown, so any price hikes could result in a detrimental impact.”