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For another data point of inflation experienced by consumers, let’s consider the holiday meal at a restaurant here in Rancho Cucamonga.  Consider the contrast with the official CPI measurements.

This is third discussion on the same-meal-at-the-same-restaurant price index.

One of the nicer restaurants (perhaps nicer is only on my scale) in our area is called Mimi’s. They offer a limited selection of meals on holidays which are nicer than their usual entrée. Today two of the five main choices were either ham or turkey with identical side dishes of mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, green beans, choice of three appetizers, and choice of three desserts.

On Thanksgiving Day 2021 the meal cost was $25. On Easter day 2022 the meal cost was $28.

That is a $3 increase.

On a $25 base that $3 represents a 12% increase in just under five months. Annualized that would come out at some around 28%. More precisely, price increase of 12% in 143 days is 30.6% annualized.

The cost for three meals and two soft drinks including tax but excluding tip was $88 last November and $99 today. That’s a 12.5% increase.

Holiday meal with same entrees and same drinks increased 12% in five months. Ouch.

That is higher than the official CPI increases. Perhaps we could even say it is radically higher.

Hidden inflation.

To illustrate the concept of hidden price increases, consider non-price factors present in the meal.

The stuffing didn’t seem to taste as good (bland, almost tasteless; too moist; barely warm).

My two dining companions disliked the seasoning in the green beans.

The apple pie slice for desert was smaller than last fall.

Those declines in quality and quantity are price increases which cannot be measured in the CPI. Yet the price increase is real.

Other changes in index.

Previous discussions in the series:

Guess we need to find another place for holiday meals. Fortunately, Mimi’s has lots of competition.

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