While operators need to closely monitor the avian flu, which has caused the destruction of more than 30 million chickens and turkeys, chicken production is up 3.1 percent compared to last year, says DeWayne Dove, vice president of risk management for SpenDifference. This increase in production, coupled with a decrease in exports, has industry experts forecasting a 6 percent decrease in cost versus a year ago. Eggs, however, are in short supply, with prices up more than 10 percent. Tom Turkey breast is up approximately 10 percent.
America's chain restaurants this year plan to ask customers to dig a bit deeper into their pockets, hoping to offset higher food costs and put a bit more cash in their wallets, according the latest national menu price survey conducted by restaurant supply chain co-op SpenDifference.
Food-cost inflation is inevitable year to year, but it doesn't necessarily have to eat into the profit margins of full-service restaurant operators. The key is to understand all the components that affect food costs and the available options for controlling them through strategic purchasing programs.