Data shows consumers could save money eating out this summer

While inflation impacts cost of food prices, menu prices at restaurants have seen modest increases, software business SpotOn
Posted at 5:13 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 17:13:36-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — According to recent data, prices at the grocery store are rising at a higher rate than prices at many restaurants, meaning consumers can save money eating out this summer.

"It would be the dream spot first location," businessman Eddy Schwartz said.

Schwartz is hoping to soon open his dream restaurant in the heart of Singer Island.

"There's no barbecue around here and there's not that many restaurants, in particular in Singer Island, that if you really want to go eat, you have to go to Palm Beach Gardens or you have to go to Jupiter," he told WPTV.

He's planning on bringing a Knoxville, Tennessee, barbecue chain to South Florida.

Eddy Schwartz wants to bring Buddy's Bar-b-q to Singer Island
Eddy Schwartz tells WPTV he wants to bring a Buddy's Bar-b-q to Singer Island.

It's called Buddy's Bar-b-q. Their prices are relatively low, which is something he wants to keep in place here for customers, given the high cost of food right now.

"I don't plan on coming here and jacking up prices," Schwartz said. "I just want people to taste the food, and the food will sell itself."

According to the most recent data from the U.S. inflation calculator released in May, compared to last year, cereal and bakery products are up 11.6%, meats, poultry, fish and eggs are up 14.2%, dairy is up 11.8%, but food away from home is only up 7.4%.

Jessica Bruno's finger points to 'food away from home' percentage increase
WPTV Contact 5 consumer reporter Jessica Bruno points to recent data from the U.S. inflation calculator that shows "food away from home" has nominally increased when compared to store-bought food items.

"The American Farm Bureau put out data that said the average summer cookout is going to cost about 17% more than it did a year ago due to inflation," Kevin Bryla, a marketing executive with SpotOn, said.

SpotOn is a software business that creates technology used at restaurants all over the country.

He told WPTV once they saw that data from the American Farm Bureau, they started looking at their own data.

"What we saw was our menu prices of our restaurants are only going up 6 or 7% on average," he said.

Bryla said that's when they realized consumers can actually save money by eating out right now.

"So we thought, it's kind of an interesting opportunity to talk to folks about the importance of supporting your local restaurant and potentially saving a couple dollars, too, since the rate of price increases is a little slower at restaurants versus what we're seeing in the grocery store," Bryla said.

Buddy's Bar-b-q menu
Buddy's Bar-b-q is a Knoxville, Tennessee-based restaurant that Eddy Schwartz wants to bring to Singer Island.

That's something restaurant owners, and soon-to-be ones like Schwartz, are hoping people consider this summer.

"They're gonna to get a good price," Schwartz said. "They're gonna get good food."