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Have a wonderful and profitable holiday season.

- Tracy & the MarginEdge team

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Overall sales by segment November 22



November National Restaurant Sales & Price Movers

Once again, lettuce topped (and filled out) our Movers chart, while chicken tenderloins topped the Droppers chart. Not making the list at all, whole turkey costs thankfully (ba-dum tss) played nice this November, increasing only 7% compared to October 2022's prices.

Sales broken down by segment show Full Service at 3% higher than November 2021 and Fast Casual at 6%. Fast Casual’s rise happened during the last week of the month (no doubt spurred by post-Thanksgiving cooking burnout), so we're crossing our fingers that Full Service's luck will change during December. Overall, national restaurants ended the month at 4% higher sales than last year.

Dig in to the full report.




We See You, Butter

Home bakers all over the U.S. are turning to Facebook groups and Reddit to find the cheapest place to buy butter for their holiday cookie baking needs. In 2021, it was estimated 161 million pounds of butter would be purchased by consumers from the second week in November through late December (I personally contributed five pounds).

In the world of restaurants, we know holiday menus trend to the more luxurious offerings, increasing butter use. We are seeing the average price of butter compared to last year increased by 36%.

The good news is butter prices are down a little bit in December, go ahead and butter up!line3inflation-up


Order Inflation Up (but not as much)

There’s some cooling off in inflation based on Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index data from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Food prices both at home and away from home increased by only about half a percent. Bank of America noted an interesting correlation in their State of the Restaurant Industry Report – as gas prices started to drop, restaurant sales started back up. With the gasoline CPI down 2% from last month, this could bode well for December restaurant sales.

We’re still seeing an imbalance between grocery price increases (12%) and restaurant menu prices (8.5%). Despite consumer grumbling about high menu prices, a recent survey from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) showed 77% of consumers will order from restaurants during the holiday season.

The Federal Reserve raised the interest rate by 0.50 percentage points this week to curb inflation. We’ll be keeping an eye on the effects next month.line2



With employee retention at all time low and inflation at all-time high, how can I keep the family meal for staff at a reasonable cost?

We turned to Kaley G, a former GM on our team, who had some great suggestions.  

Staff family meals encourage team bonding, camaraderie and of course, feed your staff. It’s an added benefit as servers and bartenders who have tasted menu items can better sell the nightly special (or, keeping it real here) a more profitable menu item. Last night at dinner I asked my server what she recommended, and she definitely answered in a way to sell me the nightly special.

Have family meal set up in the POS so the order isn’t counted as revenue. The food cost can be considered an employee benefit. 

From the perspective of your bottom line, to keep costs in check, safe-to-eat leftover food can be repurposed as well as near-expiration products. Turn to lower cost items like pasta if your proteins are all accounted for.

Ask [me] anything!
Really. Each month we’ll take a look at the questions we get and answer one here. Have a question about our product, accounting or restaurant operations in general? Email me or message us on our social media channels.line1


Oak and Ola, Tampa, FL


For Gift Cards

It’s getting toward the end of December and patience for holiday shopping is running out. What to get the person who has everything or someone you don’t really know? A gift card! 

Fiserv’s Q3 Gift Card Gauge shows with continued supply chain concerns, 60% of consumers say they will buy gift cards to fill the space typically used for physical gifts.

Gift cards generate immediate sales and bring more patrons into your restaurant. And bonus, the gift card recipients are in a jolly mood as they are getting part of their meal for free, so they might spend more than if they were using their own funds.

Selling gift cards might be a no brainer, but are there specific reasons to sell physical or digital ones? Learn the pros and cons.

What's [me] into?



  • Restaurant Technology Guys - Recent topics include artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, this show features the cutting edge of restaurant technology.
  • Terminal Value Podcast - Not restaurant vertical specific, but a great management-focused podcast for growth-oriented leaders.
  • Dana Delivers - Should restaurants have NFTs? I personally subscribed based on this particular episode, but there's plenty of macroeconomic goodness in the playlist.


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