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Here's what the rising cost of goods and services means for restaurants, bars

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Caleb Jones/AP
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AP
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2021, file photo, people sit at a Waikīkī bar. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

Consumer prices have gone up almost 7% overall in Honolulu in the last year, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report found increases across all sectors — including food.

The food marketing agency Food Gurus Hawaii tracks trends in restaurant sales each month.

Co-founder Doug Harris says Oʻahu saw a 10% decrease in restaurant transactions in the second quarter of 2022. He suspects the dip has to do with the added pressure inflation is putting on people’s pocketbooks.

"I think the early days of the $9 plate lunch are long gone, unfortunately. And I don't know whether we'll ever see them again, to be quite frank," he said.

"I think everybody is very conscientious of trying to keep their prices as affordable as possible because we are in a very price-sensitive market. But at the same time, you've got to stay in business. And I think we're still gonna see a lot of backlash coming through in the third and fourth quarter," he told HPR.

Maui restaurants have fared better, says Harris, largely thanks to the return of tourists.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Aug. 10, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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