Olive Garden, Red Lobster to Raise Prices.

17 09 2008

Shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.  The Olive Garden and Red Lobster are having to raise prices to stay profitable.

The company said its menu prices at Olive Garden and Red Lobster have typically gone up between 2 percent and 3 percent each year, with price increases usually falling in the middle of that range. But for 2009, Darden said it will have to raise prices by a percentage closer to the high end of that range.

“It’s not a dramatic increase,” said Chief Operating Officer Drew Madsen. “But it’s a little more pricing than we have taken in the past.”

Darden said the economy — specifically higher costs for food, energy and labor — is to blame. Most restaurants have been pressed by significantly higher costs in the past year with prices for grain and meat rising to record levels and state and federal governments boosting the minimum wage for workers.

 I don’t eat at either.  My mom looooooves Olive Garden though.  It just one of those unfortunate trends.  Not even the chains are immune from the higher prices that cause the mom ‘n pop shops to struggle.


Don’t Forget to Tip Your Waitress

23 06 2008

My mom waits tables three nights a week at a very small bar/restaurant in Illinois.  She also works a regular nine-to-five in an office.  She makes more waitressing three nights a week than she does working forty hours in an office.  That’s why this article in the LSJ is a little distrubing.

At the Corner Pub on Cincinnati’s west side, bartender Melissa Metz can count the cost of the economic hangover in the stack of bills she has at the end of a shift. Read the rest of this entry »

How Food Prices Affect Your Diet

16 06 2008

I’m sure you’ve gone to the grocery store and wondered how the hell you can eat healthy but not break the bank. That’s something I think about almost every time. When I first moved out on my own, my diet consisted of Mac ‘N Cheese (the blue box kind), frozen pizza, Hot Pockets, deep fried chicken strips, and grilled cheese. Needless to say, I put on a few pounds I’ve never really lost.

I first noticed the weight gain when my brother got me a free along ride at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.  My brother snapped a picture of me in a driving suit.  I couldn’t believe that was me.  By this point, I had already started learning to cook, but it was still the wrong thing.  I was recording Molto Mario and Everyday Italian pretty much everyday.  I thought I was doing good.  Pasta’s good for you, right?

After that weekend, I figured I better try to do more.  I cut Pepsi consumption in half.  That’s like trying to quit smoking for me.  I was good until recently only drinking two cans a day.  I know that sounds like a lot, but that’s down from six or more.  I started watching more Food Network shows.  I became a big fan of Bobby Flay and Racheal Ray.  Every Saturday and Sunday I check the schedule to see what every show is preparing those mornings and record something if it sounds good.  Between that and my girlfriend moving in, I’ve started eating a little bit better.  Not as good as I’d like to, but there are some vices I just can’t give up. Read the rest of this entry »

Modern Day Milkman

9 06 2008

Here’s a great story out of St. Augustine, Florida.

Here’s how the program works: consumers place a pre-order for their milk with (local entrepreneur George) Kristoff.  A family would order a specific number of gallons per week. They choose a payment program that is in place for a period of time and the price of milk would be guaranteed for that specific time frame.

For instance, an 8-week program is $28. A family would receive one gallon of milk per week for that price. Program plans range from 8 to 20 weeks. Read the rest of this entry »