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Average Food Cost Per Month

Average Food Cost Per Month

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Total restaurant dining continued to trend upward in 2023, even while many operators were forced to raise menu prices due to rising food cost.

Dining out is back in fashion. Since the COVID pandemic slashed restaurant sales to a fraction of itself four years ago, Americans continue to dine out and spend more on food outside their home. According to the Department of Agriculture, Americans spent a total of $1.3 trillion on food away from home in 2022,  a 16% increase from 2021.

That upward trend continued through 2023 according to projections. In December 2023, same-store sales growth increased to 2.3% year-over-year (YOY), showing improvement from November (1.9%). This also marks the strongest month for sales growth since July.

In order to combat rising food costs, restaurant operators have been forced to pass off some of their operating costs to consumers by raising menu prices. In a December 2023 survey by Restaurant365, 82% of respondents said they raised prices in 2023, while 62% said they plan on raising menu prices in 2024.


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