Fast food prices hit their biggest rise in 41 years

HOMEWOOD, Ala. – It will cost you a bit more to get fries with your meal at your favorite fast food restaurant.

The National Restaurant Association reports a 7% increase in fast food prices over the past 12 months – the biggest price increase in decades. The association reports that the last time prices soared this high was more than 40 years ago.

Signs can be found at a drive-thru in St. Louis advising customers that food costs more than the menu price overnight, FOX4 affiliate KTVI reports.

“I’m still surprised they keep going up,” said Homewood, Alabama resident Tish Patton. “I just think it’s important that these businesses continue to thrive. I’d rather see them open and prosper than struggle and fail.

There was a mix of reactions in Homewood on Monday about rising fast food prices. Many people said off-camera to Nexstar’s WIAT that they weren’t willing to spend more than $10 on a fast food meal. For Mason Sykes, he said he didn’t want to spend more than $12.

“It’s crazy,” Sykes said. “It’s just that everything has increased over the last year. I guess it’s all correlated with inflation, gas, groceries, fast food. We all take a hit.

University of Alabama business professor Dr. James Cochran said everything was gasoline-powered. For example, it takes a lot of gasoline to transport wheat to a restaurant.

“Any time there’s a rapid increase in the cost of gasoline, you’re going to see something like this happen,” Cochran said. “As long as supply is below demand for gasoline, we will continue to see inflationary pressures.”

Cochran said many people depend on fast food because of price, convenience and accessibility, but the tool we have as consumers is to buy less gas to change that supply and this application.

“It’s not just going to come down by reducing demand where prices were a year ago,” Cochran said, “We’re going to have an influx of supply to make that happen.”

Cochran said it would take time for fast food prices to come down, but for some families those prices have already reached tipping point.

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