retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Axios reports that "restaurants are getting creative with new fees you may not notice unless you examine the bill closely:  There may be a 'fuel surcharge' for high gas prices ... a 'noncash adjustment' for using credit instead of cash ... a 'kitchen appreciation fe e'… and just a plain old 'temporary fee'."

The story notes that "the number of restaurants adding service fees increased by 36.4% from April 2021 to April 2022 … Mastercard and Visa raised transaction fees for many merchants in April. The National Retail Federation, along with a group of retailers, said that was 'driving up inflation'."

KC's View:

To me, this signals a real opportunity for supermarket retailers.

During the early days of the pandemic, as the restaurant industry collapsed, all that business went to supermarkets, which had to move quickly and innovate in order to meet those consumer needs.  But too many food stores didn't continue to innovate around this segment as the restaurant industry came back, and so were unable to keep much of that volume.

Some of it, of course, always was going to go back to restaurants … but the battle for stomach share should be a lot tougher on the part of food stores.

So here's another opening.  How about retailers using these new fees in their own marketing, pointing out - unambiguously - that it costs more money than ever to eat in restaurants because of inflation, and that supermarkets can save you money as well as creating the opportunity to build community with family and friends?

Play hardball.  Fight for every meal.