The Bank of England has suggested that inflation will reach 5pc by next spring, whilst Citibank has forecast it could even hit 6pc.
Mr Lawson said the company, which trades under the Butcombe brand in England, is constantly assessing the impact of rising costs but that a jump in utility bills after energy prices rocketed had made the biggest impact so far.
His comments echo those of pub operator Mitchells & Butlers which last week said cost rises were piling pressure on the sector. The chain’s chief executive Phil Urban said that utility costs are on track to double this year, costing the business up to £70m.
Mr Urban, whose company runs the Harvester and All Bar One chains, said he would struggle to offset those cost increases if they spike as much as expected.
However, he said it would prove difficult to simply pass the increase along in full to customers.
Mr Urban said: “The notion that you can just pass this through is just wrong, because customers will vote with their feet.”