Gobble

Turkey takeout rules the roost as food ’flation makes eating out a holiday deal

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |

Giving thanks with Uncle Bob Evans… Thanksgiving traditions are being tested this year with high food prices bumping the cost of a home-cooked feast by 20%. It's more than just pricey potatoes: according to a Wells Fargo analysis, when you factor in cooking and cleaning time, dining out on Thanksgiving might be a better deal than hosting. Inflation-weary shoppers are taking note, even if they don't want to make a resto reservation:

  • A home-delivered meal: 45% of surveyed consumers plan to order in at least some of their Thanksgiving eats (think: less family recipe apple pie, more Applebee's).
  • Green bean coupons: Chains like Chipotle, Bob Evans, Ruth's Chris Steak House, and KFC are pushing Thanksgiving promos to lure shoppers on the side-dish sidelines.

A night on the town is a treat… but a night on the couch is no steal, either. While dining out is typically still pricier than eating in, inflation hasn't struck evenly across the cutting board. The cost of eating out has jumped less than 9% from last year, but the cost of groceries is up more than 12%. In other words, the relative value of ordering turkey takeout this Thanksgiving (versus buying a raw bird) has increased.

THE TAKEAWAY

Versatility is a secret sauce… Restaurants are well served for success this holiday season because they have scale and speed. Big chains like Yum Brands' KFC can lock in supply deals in advance, helping them weather inflation's storm. Meanwhile, mom-and-pop joints can more quickly shift ingredients and menu prices as costs dictate. With food prices expected to continue rising next year, restos will need to lean on flexibility.