WATCH: CNBC’s Joe Kernen Warns of ‘Stagflation’ in Joe Biden’s America

May 20th, 2024 4:26 PM

A restaurant owner minced no words on the immense costs that are devastating his business as inflation continues to harm both owners and customers under President Joe Biden. 

During the May 20 edition of Squawk Box, co-anchor Joe Kernen pointed to a specific case succinctly illustrating inflation’s devastating impact on Americans’ wallets. He prefaced his point by saying his guest Will Restaurants Investments Group Founder Brian Will’s “food costs have increased by more than 20% since 2023 and he has had to raise menu prices three times in the last year.”

Will noted that the inflation crisis spurred a 24 percent rise in his food costs, a 20 percent rise in his labor costs and a whopping 50 percent rise in maintenance costs. Kernen responded, “You’re like a microcosm. So costs are up and revenues down. It sounds like, it almost sounds like stagflation.”



In fact, this inflation isn’t just hitting restaurant owners. Americans are paying far more when they go out to eat. Compared to last year, eating out cost 4.1% more in April. 

Overall, Americans have dealt with a horrifying average of 5.5% inflation over the last 39 months of Biden’s presidency, compared to an average of 1.9% inflation under former President Donald Trump. 

During the interview, Will made clear that raising prices three times in the last year was a very necessary choice: “Overall revenues are down 11% even after raising prices 20%. So if we hadn't raced the prices the revenues would be down even more.”

Will emphasized just how hard the higher costs were hitting him, saying that repairing a restaurant fryer with current maintenance prices was more costly than replacing it. Will stated that it would take “111 tables just to pay to replace the first fryer.” 

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