Shares of Brinker International (NYSE: EAT) were falling 5% in midday trading Wednesday after the owner of the Chili's and Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant chains provided a business update for its fiscal 2022 first quarter. Restaurant operating margins, however, tumbled more than 10% for the period because labor costs surged 150 basis points as commodity costs rose by 60 basis points. Because extended unemployment benefits that paid workers more to stay home than find a job didn't end until September, an intense labor shortage that has yet to break was created.
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