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6 Restaurant Chains That Are Getting More Expensive

Several major chains have already rolled out price hikes this year—or announced plans to do so.

Dining out is a beloved practice across the globe, but in recent years, it's become far more of a luxury in America. The reason? Well, inflation certainly has a lot to do with it.

Food prices have shot up due to a variety of factors such as supply chain snags, wage increases, droughts, and insufficient cattle numbers. While this trend has put a strain on many Americans' grocery budgets, the impact has been especially severe at restaurants.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for food away from home were 4.2% higher in March 2024 than they were a year prior. The rise in restaurant prices across the board has been so significant that many Americans are taking notice, calling out the chains over the hikes, and even swearing off certain eateries altogether in some instances.

Though it's just a few months into the year, some of the country's biggest players in the restaurant industry have already raised their prices even more or announced plans to do so in the near future. Read on for all the restaurant chains that are getting more expensive this year—and how much more you should expect to pay.


McDonald's storefront
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

Perhaps no restaurant chain has faced as much price scrutiny in the past year as McDonald's. Scores of consumers have been taking to social media to sound off against the burger giant over its prices for Egg McMuffins, Hash Browns, Big Mac meals, and McChicken sandwiches. And behind all of this viral discourse, there's actual data to back it up.

McDonald's CFO Ian Borden announced during a February earnings call that menu prices were up about 10% in 2023 alone. Data indicates that the rise is especially high when you consider specific menu items.

The food service industry publication Restaurant Business Magazine looked at prices for McDonald's Big Macs and classic cheeseburgers in all 50 U.S. states in 2021 and then did the same in 2024. It found that McDonald's average cheeseburger prices jumped from $1.55 in 2021 to $2.40 in 2024, a 55% increase in just three years.

Big Macs were also more expensive overall, though the jump wasn't quite as high. The signature burger costs 16.4% more on average in 2024 compared to 2021, the magazine reported.

Now, it should be noted that McDonald's franchisees have the power to set their own prices, so what customers pay for these items can vary widely at different locations. However, the findings still offer valuable insight on how much more expensive certain McDonald's offerings have become on average at a time when the chain's value is under fierce scrutiny.

 7 Restaurant Chains That Are Struggling in 2024


Chipotle sign
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Chipotle has rolled out several price increases in recent years, a trend that has become a major frustration point among customers. And in 2024, Chipotle fans should expect to pay even more for their burritos and burrito bowls.

Chipotle executives revealed during a February earnings call that they planned to raise prices between 2.5% and 3% in the first quarter of 2024. Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung also previewed plans during the call to raise prices even more in California specifically once the state's new $20 minimum wage increase took effect on April 1.

These price hikes already appear to be rolling out. Data compiled by analysts from the financial services company Keybanc indicates that most California Chipotle locations have gotten 7% to 8% more expensive, Nation's Restaurant News reported on April 4.

Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse storefront
Chris Shott for Eat This, Not That!

Prices at Texas Roadhouse, like Chipotle, have been steadily ticking up in the past year. The popular steakhouse chain rolled out a 2.2% price hike in April 2023, followed by another 2.7% increase in October 2023. And during a February 2024 earnings call, Texas Roadhouse CFO Chris Monroe announced that the company planned to implement a 2.2% price hike around late March to "help offset the impact of inflationary pressures."

With beef expected to get more expensive this year and the persistent uptick in food prices overall, Texas Roadhouse customers shouldn't count out the possibility of another price hike further down the line. However, the fact that the steakhouse chain is getting more expensive doesn't seem to be deterring customers. Texas Roadhouse reported a 9.9% increase in same-store sales in the fourth quarter of 2023 and a 5.1% increase in customer traffic.

 7 Major Changes You'll See at Texas Roadhouse in 2024

Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel restaurant
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If you've suspected that your Cracker Barrel bills are getting pricier in 2024, that's not just a figment of your imagination. Earlier this year, Cracker Barrel announced that prices were up 4.8% in the quarter that ended on Jan. 26. The country-themed restaurant chain expects its prices to rise even higher by the end of 2024.

"We now anticipate pricing of approximately 5% for the full year," CFO Craig Pommells said during a February earnings call.

Pommells added that the company has been making pricing decisions in a "thoughtful and careful manner" to "preserve our value." However, data shows that the chain has been struggling to bring customers into its restaurants. Cracker Barrel reported a 4% drop in traffic during the most recent quarter, following a series of earlier traffic declines in previous quarters.

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Shake Shack

Shake Shack exterior
James Mattil / Shutterstock

This year is already shaping up to be an exciting one for Shake Shack fans thanks to the rollout of limited-time menu items and an April Chicken Shack giveaway. However, Shake Shack customers may be far less enthused about another change they'll see at the burger chain this year: price increases.

CFO Katie Fogerty announced during a February earnings call that the chain plans to raise in-store menu prices at the majority of its locations by about 2.5% in 2024. Fogerty noted that the chain had also recently increased digital prices as well, though she didn't say by how much.

Additionally, Fogerty previewed Shake Shack's plans to hike prices even more this year in areas of the country with "outsized labor inflation," such as in California due to the minimum wage increase.

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Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

New York-style pizza isn't the only thing coming to Domino's menus nationwide in 2024. Customers should also expect to see a small yet notable uptick in prices at the pizza chain.

During a February earnings call, Domino's executive vice president and CFO Sandeep Reddy announced plans to roll out a "modest price increase in the low-single digits" this year in the United States.

Domino's customers in California will see larger price increases than the rest of the country, due to the state's new wage law. However, Reddy didn't say exactly how much its California prices will rise.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe