PITTSBURGH – If you find that menu prices have increased, it is likely the result of increasing costs for restaurant owners.
“It’s literally everything, across the board,” said Justin Severino, owner of Morcilla on Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
Not only are food prices rising, delivery prices are rising too.
“They call it, delivery charges, rubber gloves, insurance,” he said. “Everything we pay for the most part to do business as a restaurant is upstairs.”
Severino also pays his employees more and offers more social benefits in order to keep a full workforce. The overall increase in costs has resulted in a reduced menu, with items costing more to customers.
“I think we are working with a lower margin and higher prices today than before the pandemic.”
However, profits were not overwhelmingly high before the pandemic, he said, as the restaurant strives to provide high quality ingredients and service. They feel lucky that they survived the shutdown, but it was a struggle.
Channel 11 has covered the pandemic, which is causing a number of bottlenecks and supply chain problems, including for the home appliance industry.
Severino said he ordered a new refrigerator eight months ago and it still hasn’t arrived.
“Even the people we buy food from have just as big problems as we do, even sourcing food is different,” he said, noting that their suppliers often don’t have truck drivers to make deliveries. I think a lot of people want to believe that we’re back to the way we were, but losing an entire year more sales for each company is really hard. We’re just climbing out of a really deep hole. “
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