CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Industries across the country are dealing with a multitude of problems right now, restaurants included. Amid rising costs, many have been forced to change how they operate in order to stay open. Over the past two years, businesses like Luigi’s Ristorante have been faced with problems like staffing shortages, supply chain issues, and now inflation. Because of these rising costs, and falling staff numbers restaurants have had to take measures to stay alive.
“Our prices are going up, so we have to raise our prices to offset it,” said Eddie Tate, the owner of Luigi’s Ristorante in DuBois. “It is inevitable, and we know that. In a perfect world, we would not have to raise our prices, but we already know that we’re going to have to.”
For Luigi’s, a restaurant that employs nearly 70 full staff, is now down to just 50 employees. Those staffing shortages and inflation have affected their day-to-day operations, leading to higher costs to get their products daily.
“Probably increased at least 25%. That includes payroll and supplies, deliveries,” Tate said.
The restaurant used to be open seven days a week but has had to limit its hours, to now being open just five days a week. Stil, open just five days now, Tate said the cost of keeping the lights on is still nearly equal
“Our operational costs are equivalent to the seven days we were open before the pandemic,” he said.
The restaurant spends about $30,000 in operational costs on a week to week basis, feeding hundreds of restaurant-goers daily. And like many other businesses they are dealing with the issue of not knowing if they will even receive their deliveries on a day-to-day basis.
“It certainly does add more stress to the whole thing also,” Tate said.
For many business owners, the issues of rising costs, coupled with the inability to fill staff have led many to close their doors for good. And while Luigi’s may not be in danger of closing down, change is coming, and customers will notice it on their bill.
“It is inevitable, and we know that. In a perfect world, we would not have to raise our prices, but we already know that we’re going to have to,” Tate said.
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