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Proactively Manage Increasing Product Costs

Q: I know product costs are going to continue increasing. What are the realities we’re facing in 2013?
A: The summer of 2012 brought a severe drought throughout the mid-west and much of the United States. Though some prices have increased, substantial price increases will hit in 2013 according to the USDA Economic Research Service (http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-price-outlook/summary-findings.aspx). Click here to read more »

Proactively Manage Minimum Wage Increases

Q: Minimum wage is set to increase again. I feel the squeeze of financial obligations already, how can I overcome another increase in expenses without any foreseeable benefit?
A: Washington State boasts the highest minimum wage in the nation and because of a voter approved measure is one of only 10 States where minimum wage can increase annually based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). As a result, minimum wage will normally increase each year. Over the last five years Washington State’s minimum wage has increased nearly $1.00 per hour and approximately $0.50 in the last two years [Exhibit 1]. Effective January 1, 2013 minimum wage will once again increase to, gulp, $9.19. Click here to read more »

Making Price Increases in a Down Economy (2011)

Q: The cost of food has been increasing over the last year. Times have been tough but it’s time for me to take a price increase on my menu. What is the best way to go about increasing our menu pricing?

A: The National Restaurant Association is forecasting an increase in wholesale food prices of 3.3% over 2010 while the USDA projects a 2.0-3.0% increase for all foods. Meats, pork, dairy, fats and oils are projected to have the highest increases. Click here to read more »

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