Today, the Wall Street Journal's website carries a story about supermarkets and restaurants having to grit their teeth and pass rising food costs for ingredients -- including staples like beef, milk, coffee, cocoa, and sugar -- onto consumers.
The timing is unfortunate, since the restaurant industry hasn't really rebounded, and more and more publications and blogs are describing how penny-pinching customers -- like the frugal mother writing for womensday.com about how shocked she was by what she was spending on eating in restaurants -- are choosing cheaper venues or not eating out at all.
Will local restaurants follow suit?
So, what are local restaurant owners and managers saying?
"There is not going to be a price increase at bluestem -- for right now," says the restaurant's general manager Jeremy Lamb. "There was a major bump in dairy prices two years ago, but (owner) Colby Garrelts is determined to keep our dinner prices in line."
Anthony Spino, who along with his brother runs his family's Italian restaurant, Anthony's -- a longtime fixture in downtown Kansas City -- says that his father is "terrified of raising prices in this economy."
"But we're reviewing our menu now and we may raise some prices and lower others," he says. "We're also considering creating versions of some of our dishes that have smaller portions and lower prices. The portions would still be ample, but the customer probably wouldn't have leftovers to take home. And there are people who don't want leftovers."