Expect higher prices, menu changes when you dine out in Hawaii

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Consumers are paying more for everyday items in the store.

And consumer products company, Unilever, says, price hikes are likely coming on many of its brands.

Items that you may be paying more for include soaps and shampoo from Dove, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Lipton tea products.

Unilever says supplier costs for oil, transportation and packaging are higher now.

Local restaurants have already been hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions and are also seeing increases.

“Food costs have gone up for everyone and even a structural supply chain issue because this supply issue is falling on the restaurant,” Giovanni Pastrami partner Ryan Tanaka said.

Many restaurants KHON2 spoke with preferred not to go on camera, but tell us they will have to increase prices or make changes to what they can offer customers. The Hawaii Restaurant Association says some restaurants have already started removing items from their menus.

“At Giovanni Pastrami, while we still have our full menu offering, we still have to conserve certain ingredients more than we normally would,” Tanaka said.

According to the US Department of Labor, food prices are up 4.2% since last year. Tanaka says that’s making recovery for restaurants much more difficult.

“Just like the labor shortage is pushing up wages, food costs are also going up, so these two critical drivers to operate are making it harder for restaurants to really do well despite the large increase in daily covers,” Tanaka said.

Many of his staff bought one-way tickets to the continent since the pandemic started, but he expects to receive more job applications in September, when federal pandemic unemployment programs come to an end, including the weekly $300 plus-up.

He’s also optimistic about inflation.

“US inflation spiked in June by the most in 13 years, showing just how much spending is outpacing supply and that’s driving up food costs. As we start to see that supply chain temper, we do expect that food costs are going to come back down,” he said.

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