Small portions offered at restaurants cause rise in Yelp complaints, report says

Shrimp cocktail in a bowl at a restaurant in California, May 27, 2022. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

If you plan to dine out, chances are your the entrance may seem a little smaller, which irks consumers who express frustration on the Yelp website referencing the shrinkage in their reviews.

For the first time, consumers mentioned “shrinkflation” in their reviews, Yelp explained in a new report monitoring economic activity for the second quarter of 2022. “Shrinkflation,” a combination of the words shrinkage and inflation, refers downsizing a product to meet demand. of inflation.

Yelp’s report cites reviews from customers who have experienced inflation in restaurants and food businesses. Most of the “low inflation” complaints were about customers visiting restaurants serving menu items including hot dogs, burgers and pizza.

RELATED: Shrinkflation is hitting consumers around the world

In their reviews, customers also complained about portion sizes at seafood restaurants and restaurants serving Italian or Chinese cuisine.

With inflation impacting the nation, Yelp shared that 47 states listed inflation mentions in their reviews in the second quarter, compared to 35 states in the second quarter of last year.

“The first half of 2022 has been tough for people and businesses. Yelp data shows that while consumers have seen a steady rise in inflation since 2021, they’re feeling the pinch especially this year. Mentions of inflation in Yelp reviews are rising more than ever before, and for the first time we’ve seen mentions of experiences related to shrinkage. That said, people are resilient and adapting,” said Pria Mudan, Head of of data science at Yelp, in a statement provided to FOX television stations on Thursday.

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Mudan added: “While consumers searched for higher priced businesses less in Q2 2022 compared to Q1 2022, perhaps in response to inflation, they still searched for higher priced businesses more frequently. than before the pandemic – an encouraging indicator that intends to spend at The first half of the year also saw consumers booking more in advance than before, and a relative increase in searches related to electric vehicles, Presumably to ease the burden of rising gas prices. In a new normal, Yelp’s data shows how they are finding ways to adapt in the face of new economic challenges.”

As the costs of goods and services rise this year, consumers can expect to pay more for food in groceries and restaurants, according to forecasts from the US Department of Agriculture in May.

The Food Price Outlook 2022, a consumer price index for food that measures inflation released by the USDA Economic Research Service, indicates that food prices in March 2022 were 8.8% higher than those of the previous year.

RELATED: What is contraction? How Companies Hide Inflation Without Raising Prices

Overall, the index estimates that food prices in grocery stores and supermarkets will rise between 5% and 6% this year, while restaurant prices are expected to jump between 5.5% and 6.5%.

Will the shrinkage end soon?

As long as the current wave of inflation lasts and manufacturers’ profits are under pressure, experts say producers will continue to look for ways to directly or indirectly raise prices.

In March, the Federal Reserve launched a high-risk effort to rein in the worst inflation since the early 1980s, raising its benchmark short-term interest rate and signaling up to six more rate hikes this year.

Central bank policymakers expect inflation to remain elevated, ending 2022 at 4.3%, according to quarterly projections they released on Wednesday. That’s well above the Fed’s 2% annual target. Officials also now forecast much slower economic growth this year, at 2.8%, compared to an estimate of 4% in December.

FOX 5 New York and FOX 32 Chicago contribute to this story. This story was reported from Washington, DC

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