Restaurants face supply chain issues as they see more customers turning up in the Triangle

Fredy Alvarez and his crew are gearing up for another busy weekend at Gringo A Go Go, a popular Mexican restaurant on the corner of East Edenton and North Person Street in downtown Raleigh.

“People feel safer going out next to other people. We’re starting to have more events,” said Alvarez, who serves as general manager.

We caught up with him on Friday afternoon as the lunch rush was winding down and the crew was preparing for the dinner crowd to arrive. Although 2022 has brought customers back, thanks in part to expanded outdoor seating options, they still face supply chain challenges.

“We focus a lot on eco-friendly takeaway products. So for us, it’s crazy how the price increase is, and also how to find it is really even harder. So even if you raise the prices , you can’t even find the products you’re looking for,” said Alvarez, who added that they pay three times as much for compostable products that diners have grown accustomed to.

This is in addition to price increases for popular items.

“(Our costs), especially food, have increased by 30%. And on our menu, we increased (the prices) by 5.6%,” said Alvarez, who added that diners were understanding of any adjustments.

Alvarez hopes the temporary drop in results is worth it to build long-term customer loyalty.

“They have to believe in the places that do the best for the community around them. So they come to try it and believe in it and see the difference between the other places, and that’s the one they support,” Alvarez explained.

In Roxboro, Bryan Day, owner of Clarksville Station, faces his own supply chain challenges, though his are more serious.

“What really set us back was the equipment we use to make a restaurant a restaurant. So there were a lot of supply chain issues that the parts weren’t there, readily available. for them to actually build these ovens, grills, etc. to ship it to us,” Day explained.

The restaurant has been closed since mid-February for renovations with an original goal of six weeks.

“We were given a date for shipping and then the manufacturer would come back and say oh we need five more weeks. And then five more weeks would come and then we need four more weeks,” Day said. .

He bought the restaurant just five months before the start of the pandemic, and another prolonged closure, stemming from the pandemic, added mounting pressure.

“If we don’t open, we don’t make money,” Day said.

It aims to reopen next weekend, as long as everything can be installed and inspected next week.

“He needed some (upgrades) for a long time,” Day explained.

May’s Consumer Price Index report found inflation rose 1% in May and 8.6% year-on-year, the biggest annual rise since December 1981. President Biden visited the Port of Los Angeles on Friday, highlighting efforts to facilitate the supply chain. arrears to deliver the goods faster.

“Getting stuff in and out of these ports has been one of our goals, and it’s been largely achieved. to the pandemic,” said Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

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