Restaurant chief Hugh Osmond: Cost of eating out is set to soar

Restaurant boss Hugh Osmond warns price of dining out could soar in coming months with rising inflation

Restaurant boss Hugh Osmond has warned the price of dining out could soar in the coming months as families stomach rising inflation. 

The cost of food and ingredients is already squeezing the restaurant trade, the former Pizza Express chief executive said. Some food products are up 30 per cent, he said. 

Osmond, who founded Punch Taverns and now runs Various Eateries, told The Mail on Sunday that he expects higher prices to last for months. 

Hard to swallow: The cost of food and ingredients is already squeezing the restaurant trade

He predicts overall food and drink inflation to reach 10 per cent in his restaurants. 

‘It’s a big problem and it’s going to hit food [across all categories],’ he said. 

The cost of buying chicken and fish from suppliers has gone ‘bonkers’, he added. 

The war in Ukraine has contributed to rising prices. Supply chain disruption has continued after the pandemic, adding further pressure. 

So far, Osmond has tried to protect customers but he accepted prices will rise if product inflation remains high. 

Osmond’s inflation expectations match that of Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group, which has doubled its forecast for food and drink inflation from 5 to 10 per cent.

UK Hospitality’s chief executive Kate Nicholls said the average price of a main meal increased by £1.50 in April. She said restaurants are facing a ‘toxic cocktail of costs’.