Lower Quality Foods

The Lempert Report
February 03, 2023

One third of restaurants report serving lower quality ingredients because of inflation. This is a report from Toast Restaurant Industry Outlook Survey. And, both full service and quick service restaurants are using cheaper quality ingredients. And what that means is lower quality. A lot of these places have cut down their inventories. 34% of them say that they've reduced their menu. 31% have done that, and 36% of restaurants have had to raise prices. So when you go into a restaurant these days, does the food taste the same? 

Sally: You know, it's interesting that you asked me that, Phil, because my husband and I talk about this a lot when we eat a fast casual at a fast casual res restaurant or a fast food restaurant that it doesn't seem to taste as good as when we were younger. I don't know if that's our taste buds changing or the ingredients changing, but what I am curious is to what sort of skills they're bringing in, what sort of chefs and their culinary skills they're bringing in to actually know which ingredients. Okay, you can cut down on that ingredient and it's not going to sacrifice the flavor or the way that somebody enjoys this meal, but keep this ingredient, you know, it's worth it to spend money on this ingredient. That is something I would like to see and understand a little more myself on how they approach that. 

Phil: Yeah, I haven't noticed the quality going down. What I have noticed is obviously prices going up in restaurants and also portion size getting smaller. And when you used to have, you know, a piece of fish and it would be this big, now it's this big, you used to have this many vegetables next to it. Now it has this many vegetables next to it. And, and I find myself, at times leaving a restaurant hungry and looking at the bill and saying, whoa, I paid that much and I'm still hungry and I'm gonna go home and have a peanut butter sandwich. Just doesn't make a lot of sense.