Real Deal: Dining out returns to pre-pandemic levels as the cost to eat out rises

For a restaurant to be profitable, most restaurant business operators prefer the food costs to be between 28 and 35% of the revenue.

News 12 Staff

Mar 10, 2023, 12:19 PM

Updated 492 days ago

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If you are planning on dining out this weekend, you are not alone. The number of people going out to restaurants has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
According to OpenTable, the percentage of diners eating out over the past four months compared to the same months in 2019 dropped in December. In January, it was back to 4.3% above, and last month, it was up 4.4% compared to the same time in 2019.
According to Caleb Silver from Investopedia, those meals are costing us a lot more.
"Inflation is causing us to spend more every time we go out to eat. The cost of going out to eat is up 21% throughout New Jersey, especially in counties like Bergen and Monmouth,” Silver says.
For a restaurant to be profitable, most restaurant business operators prefer the food costs to be between 28 and 35% of the revenue. This is not the biggest slice of the pie – that would be labor, followed by food costs, then rent. Keep that in mind when you get the check this weekend.


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