The price of eating out jumped 0.7% last month — a staggering pace not seen since 1981, inflation data out Tuesday shows.
Why it matters: Demand is soaring, but so are the costs restaurants and other food providers face — for ingredients, supplies and staff, which are all in short supply. The dynamic is playing out on the menu in the form of pricier meals.
One big factor: Restaurants are paying up to lure employees to staff the comeback. The data is a sign they are passing on the costs.
"I am a little surprised that food away from home has not accelerated more given the issues around finding staff," says ING economist James Knightley.