While operators are struggling to keep footfall high, it is also tough to absorb the increases as well as offer punters enough incentives to keep spending before payday.
Multiple operators are set to fare better by focusing on distribution and locking in deals with suppliers, but independents are likely to feel the burn this year.
JD Wetherspoon has extended its traditional January sale to last for the whole month, although the lowest-priced offers of 2012 have increased. But is it sustainable?
Last year was the second wettest on record, with crop harvests poor.
That will continue this year as farmers weren’t able to plant all they needed in the waterlogged ground.
Broader trends, including climate change, population growth and the increasing sophistication of commodity markets will continue to affect food and drink prices and it may well take more than a month of dropped prices to stay in business.