Restaurateur and "Bar Rescue" host Jon Taffer argued that rising prices are just as "devastating" for restaurants as supply shortages, causing disruptions in every aspect of a restaurant’s function, on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" Friday.
"Specifications are changing on everything," Taffer told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto.
"It isn't whether I get steak or not," Taffer continued, "Now I have to get a different grade, a different cut, a different thickness. Now, my kitchen staff needs to be trained to cook dinner when it doesn't cook quite the same as the other one. Maybe it doesn't fit on a plate like the other one did."
Inflationary prices are sticking around as the supply chain crisis rages on and labor shortages persist.
Taffer claimed this combination of factors makes it even more challenging for restaurants to adjust to price and product changes.
"It's difficult for restaurants when we're short-staffed to constantly keep training people on these changing food specifications," Taffer explained. "So that's impacting us as well as price."
When asked how long these high prices could continue, Taffer predicted Americans could see gradual increases over the next two years.
"I sense that we don't start to see movement out of this, certainly until summer or so," he said, "and it concerns me very much."
The restaurateur said consumers have so far been accepting of inflationary prices, likely due to the post-pandemic excitement of returning to social activities, but it may not last long.
"At what point do people move from steak to hamburgers and hamburgers to hot dogs and hotdogs to spaghetti?" Taffer said. "And how do people's lifestyles change during this? And what is the lasting impact on us when we do come out of this?"
Taffer pointed to the silver lining, noting while the restaurant industry is still struggling, meal revenues are up 15 to 25% since pre-COVID levels.
"Restaurants have to figure out how to get through this," he said, "and consumers have to be supportive at this time."