Rising food costs a major challenge for restaurateurs coming out of COVID-19 restrictions


SAULT STE. MARIE – Supplier food costs have increased dramatically over the past year, and for at least one restaurant in Sault Ste. Marie, that means tough decisions are coming.

Customers have occupied the staff at the Sault of Wacky Wings location since the restrictions were relaxed. But one of the owners said this week that rising food prices had weighed on his profits.

“In fact, we’ve seen increases unlike anything we’ve seen before in the history of Wacky Wings, to be honest with you,” said Craig Burgess, co-owner of Wacky Wings. “Canola oil prices (up) over 25%, chicken wing prices over 10%.”

Burgess said he has managed to get by for now, but the restaurant chain may soon be faced with some tough decisions.

“It is getting difficult day by day because we are getting advice from the vendors, left, right and center,” he said. “There is a very high probability – probably – that we will have to be forced to make smaller price increases to adjust.”

The nonprofit group representing the Canadian food industry said food costs are its third biggest challenge, behind closures and pandemic-related debt.

And, he said that “customers will soon be feeling the effects of rising food costs.”

“Normally they try to delay rising menu prices for as long as possible, but with the debt that most have accumulated throughout the pandemic, they really don’t have the leeway to delay rising prices. menus, ”said Restaurant Canada’s James Rillet.

Like Wacky Wings in the Sault, Rillet said restaurants are feeling the pinch across the country. And it might take a while before they bounce back.

“We’re looking at about a year, a payback period of a year and a half, so we’re still on a long term and I think we’ll start to see the effects of, unfortunately, start to see closures,” he said. -he declares .

Despite the challenges, Rillet said businesses are still gearing up for an exciting summer, with demand for decks and a record high.

– Written for the Web by Darren MacDonald


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