Rising Food Prices Put Pressure on Menus

As food prices rise, even high-income consumers—and the caterers who court them—are feeling sticker shock as they weigh what common foods such as beef and avocados now cost versus what they "should" cost, the Wall Street Journal says. As a result, clients are asking caterers to shift menus to lower priced foods:

Leanne Powers-Mattioli with her husband, Chris Mattioli, are hosting their annual end-of-summer beach barbecue next month at their shore-front home on Lake Erie for about 200 friends and family members. This year, they won't be serving shrimp cocktail. Stubbornly high prices for shrimp prompted Ms. Powers-Mattioli to instruct the caterer to substitute locally sourced heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil drizzled with olive oil. And she is opting to serve barbecued chicken, along with potatoes and lots of salads, instead of the usual hamburgers. -- Wall Street Journal

Fees, Fees, Baby: Hotels Learn from Airline Industry, Add on Charges

Taking a page from the airline industry, the hotel business has gone cuckoo for charges, adding a couple bucks here and there to guest bills. The result: a record $2.25 billion should flow in this year, up 6 percent from 2013:

Internet connection fees, bag checking charges and reservation cancellation costs. Most Americans have grown accustomed to nickel-and-dime charges from the airline industry. But hotels and resorts are also taking a bite out of their guests’ wallets too. U.S.-based hotels are expected to collect a record $2.25 billion in guest fees in 2014, a 6% increase over last year, according to a New York University study.—Los Angeles Times

U.S. First Family Attends Wedding for White House Chef

The Obama ladies wore black, President Obama a dark suit when attending a wedding over Labor Day for White House chef Sam Kass:

Just imagine if your Labor Day wedding weekend included a visit from the First Family! President Obama, along with the First Lady and their two daughters attended the wedding of long-time family friend and White House chef Sam Kass and MSNBC host Alex Wagner this past weekend in New York’s Hudson Valley. The wedding took place at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a working farm and foodie favorite in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.—The Knot Blog