The Cost of Eating Out Is the Most Expensive It's Been in Nearly 40 Years

The jump in menu prices is the most dramatic since 1982.


When you were little, did your mom ever respond to your pleas for McDonald's for dinner with the all too familiar, "We've got food at the house." Mine did all the time. The logic was that eating out costs more money than eating in. But, in 2021, both options have become significantly more expensive.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report detailing the jump in the cost of food. Restaurant prices have increased by 5.8% since the beginning of 2021, which is the highest 12-month increase since 1982. And grocery shopping got more expensive this year as well, with the overall cost rising by 6.4%, which is the largest 12-month jump since 2008. As experts predicted, the cost of beef has risen most, with a 20.9% jump. Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that consumer price inflation for goods across the board has risen by 6.8%.

According to CNN, these price increases aren't expected to go away any time soon and are likely to extend into 2022. Labor and transportation shortages and an increase in the cost of raw materials required to produce items all contribute to this year's historic prices. The supply chain issues that have led to shortages and shipping delays are also leading to the increased cost of food.

So, go ahead and get some McDonald's for dinner. The food in your fridge is also hitting your wallet a little harder.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.