Restaurants and pubs have raised menu prices by 6%, the highest hike since 2006, as food costs continue to climb.
Horizons' Menurama survey, which tracks changes across 116 chain hotels, pubs, restaurants and quickservice outlets, found that the average price of a dish had gone up 6.4% year-on-year to £6.69 as operators struggle to cope with food inflation and the expense of meal deals and vouchers.
Over the past six months the effect of input costs is even more pronounced, with a 5.7% rise. This is against Retail Price Index inflation of 2.7%.
The average cost of a starter is now £5.59 (up 5.6% in the past six months), a main course is £10.62 (up 7%) and a dessert averages at £4.20 (up 4.2%).
The survey also found a rise in food provenance statements, with ‘local' becoming one of the top five terms used on menus. Others were "homemade", "free range", "organic" and "sustainable".
Horizons' director of services Nicola Knight said: "This survey was undertaken before the recent horsemeat scandal emerged, but because of renewed concerns over food sourcing, particularly meat, we would expect our next survey to show even more effort being made by operators to reassure consumers with details of provenance."
Other trends the Menurama survey picked out included an increasing "premiumisation" of dishes, with operators adding a twist to menu items to make them stand out. It cited All Bar One's handmade beef and coriander burger and Best Western's sausage and caramelised red onion bap as examples.
Meanwhile, Mexican was identified as having become far more mainstream, with dishes such as duck tostada and huevos rancheros Mexican breakfast on offer in Giraffe and beef and bean tostada flatbread available at Slug & Lettuce.