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Inflation Hits the Fast Food Counter

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On a chilly Tuesday afternoon this month, James Marsh stopped by a Chipotle near his suburban Chicago home to grab something to eat.It had been a while since Mr. Marsh had been to Chipotle — he estimated he goes five times a year — and he stopped cold when he saw the prices.“I had been getting my usual, a steak burrito, which had been maybe in the mid-$8 range,” said Mr. Marsh, who trades stock options at his home in Hinsdale, Ill. “Now it was more than $9.”He walked out.“I figured I’d find something at home,” he said.The pandemic has led to price spikes in everything from pizza slices in Manhattan to sides of beef in Colorado. And it has led to more expensive items on the menus at fast-food chains, traditionally establishments where people are used to grabbing a quick bite that doesn’t hurt …

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