RT Cunningham


Fast Food and Restaurant Food Prices are Way Too High in Hawaii

meatless meatI’m sure a lot of Hawaiian locals will agree with me when I say fast food and restaurant food prices are way too high in Hawaii. The people who actually live on the islands of Hawaii are paying tourist prices. It’s wrong, but I can’t think of any way the vendors could do it differently. How can they know who’s a tourist and who’s not?

Using Burger King’s Fast Food Prices as an Example

When I look at Burger King’s latest offers at its website, I have to laugh. By the time you look at it, it may be different, so I’ll mention some price points:

The Whopper Meal Deals are $4 (Whopper Jr.), $5 (Whopper) and $6 (Double Whopper), The second one was over $10 here last week. Based on what I’ve seen at various websites online, fast food prices are practically double the prices charged in mainland USA.

Those prices are bad enough. Restaurant prices are ridiculous.

I’m Unfamiliar with Restaurant Prices

The only place I’ve been to that even resembles a restaurant is Chuck E. Cheese’s in Kapolei. My wife (Josie) and I accompanied Cathy, our daughter-in-law this past Sunday. She was invited to a child’s birthday party by some friends. If you’re not familiar with Chuck E. Cheese, it’s basically a pizza parlor and arcade all-in-one.

I may be wrong, but I thought I heard the guy who paid for everything spent more than $400. If that’s true, it’s even more ridiculous than I thought.

There’s a small restaurant in Haleiwa Town near us. I believe it’s Cafe Haleiwa. but I can’t be sure. I’ve only been there once. My son’s Army unit decided to have breakfast there one day. I drove Jon there and then I parked in the back and waited for him at the car. He didn’t mention any prices to me.

Groceries Instead of Fast Food and Restaurant Food

Josie and Cathy are both Filipinos. Jon is half, if you can call it that. I keep telling people that Filipino and American aren’t races, but it never sinks in. There’s no way to be exact since both sides of the family are mixed. I’m just a lot “whiter”. Anyway…

We take special trips to grocery stores that sell predominately Filipino food. That includes the Waipahu Festival Marketplace and Seafood City in Waipahu. More often to Seafood City since we can pick up Jollibee chicken next door to it (in the same building).

Most of the food at the Schofield Barracks Commissary, including “fresh” vegetables, is imported from the mainland. The fresh food at those places in Waipahu is locally produced and some of it’s less expensive than the commissary prices for the same items.

Jon gets a DOD cost of living allowance for living in Hawaii. The regular basic allowance for subsistence wouldn’t be enough for him alone to live on. And it was never designed for more than the service member. I should know because I spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, handling pay as well as administrative duties.

Photo Attribution: Ofer Kor [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Share: Facebook | Twitter

By RT Cunningham
September 26, 2019
Food and Drink