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Fewer Nuggets, Smaller Salads: Shrinkflation Hits US Restaurant Diners

Portions are getting smaller, but prices are staying the same, or sometimes even going up. 

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Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Feeling a bit cheated when you look down at your plate? It’s not just a figment of your imagination — portions at US restaurants are indeed getting smaller. Call it shrinkflation: when sizes shrink, but you’re paying the same price, or sometimes even more, for the meal or product.

America’s restaurants are in the same boat as the rest of the country, battling the soaring food and fuel costs that recently helped send US inflation to a 40-year high. Eateries have hiked prices, too. Government data Wednesday showed costs for food away from home have climbed 7.2% over the past 12 months. But now, restaurant operators are starting to worry about how much more they can raise the tab before diners start to balk, especially for something that’s considered optional spending.