Restaurant Food Prices in 2022: What to Expect


Restaurant food prices are always changing, but how and why they change is often misunderstood. 


The typical American eats out at restaurants around six times per week, spending around $80 in the process. 


With restaurant food prices expected to grow between 3% and 4% each year in the next few years, it’s important to be prepared for these increases and know what the future of restaurant food prices might look like. 


This brief guide will help you understand how restaurant food prices work, and what you can expect from them in the future.


Coffee Drinks

In recent years, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the price of coffee drinks at restaurants. A small cup of coffee used to cost around $1.50, but now it’s not uncommon to see prices closer to $2.00 or even $2.50. 


Let’s not even get started on frappuccinos and other specialty drinks! So what can we expect for coffee prices in 2022? It is safe to conclude that prices will continue to rise in the near future. 


I know there will be plenty of people who disagree, claiming that prices have reached their peak and will only decline from here. I don’t believe it. 


It seems like they keep raising the price because they know we’ll keep paying; if they’re getting away with this, why would they ever stop? I think things will only get worse before they get better.


In 2022, restaurant food prices are expected to rise. The cost of living is increasing, and the price of food is following suit. 


Tacos are a staple of Mexican cuisine, and they’re typically very cheap. 


However, due to the rising cost of living, tacos are expected to cost $2 in 2022. 


This may seem like a small price increase, but it can add up if you’re eating out frequently. On average, people eat out four times per week. 



So those four $2 tacos would equal to $8 per week or $32 per month. Eating out four times per week for a year would cost an extra $672.


And this doesn’t include any other costs that come with going out to eat like tips, drinks, or appetizers. For someone who eats out eight times per week, this means that their monthly expenses could be as high as $1,120.


In 2022, pizza will still be one of the most popular menu items at restaurants. The average price for a pizza will be $5. 


This is a slight increase from the current average price of $4.50. The reason for the price increase is due to the rising cost of cheese and other ingredients used to make pizza. 


Despite the price increase, pizza will remain a budget-friendly option for many diners. For example, a family of four can enjoy dinner at a pizzeria by ordering two pizzas with drinks and desserts for around $30. 


A single person can get a slice of pizza as a meal for only $2. 


Other affordable options include soup or salad (about $6) or pasta dishes that are priced between $8-$10. 


There are also appetizers such as mozzarella sticks ($7), chicken wings ($8), and fried pickles ($7). 


Seafood items such as shrimp cocktail ($14) or crab legs ($17) may also be on the menu. When it comes to entrees, burgers ($12), sandwiches ($11), and burritos/wraps/tacos ($9-$12) might be available.

Happy Hour Snacks

In recent years, happy hour food prices have been on the rise. According to a recent study, the average price of a happy hour snack has increased by $0.50 since 2016. 


This trend is expected to continue into 2022, with the average price of a happy hour snack reaching $7.00. 


While this may seem like a lot, remember that you can always find deals and specials at your favorite restaurants. 


With a little bit of planning, you can still enjoy your favorite foods without breaking the bank. 


Keep an eye out for coupons, try out new dishes at different establishments, or ask for samples from the waiter. Whatever you do, don’t let these rising costs get in the way of a good time!

Fast Casual Meals

In-N-Out may have been the first restaurant to popularize the $10 fast casual meal, but these days, it’s becoming the norm. 


Even trendier restaurants are getting in on the action, offering up $10 meals that are just as delicious as their more expensive counterparts. 


So what can we expect from restaurant food prices in 2022? With so many chains jumping on the bandwagon, it’s unlikely they’ll back off anytime soon. 


On the other hand, with higher minimum wages and unemployment rates ticking upwards again, consumers might not be able to afford such luxuries and will turn instead to cheaper options like home cooking or takeout.

Dinners at Restaurants

In just a few years, the average cost of a dinner at a restaurant will be $15. This is due to inflation and the rising cost of food. If you’re on a budget, you may want to consider cooking at home more often. 


However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra, there are still plenty of options for dining out. Just be sure to check prices before you order.


Your best bet for getting an affordable meal will be weekday lunches when many restaurants offer deals and specials. 


You’ll also find that many restaurants serve appetizers and drinks with no added charge, which can really make your bill add up quickly. 


In conclusion, Some chain restaurants such as Panera Bread offer great lunch specials on weekdays where all-you-can-eat sandwiches are priced from $6-$8.

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