Local restaurants grapple with higher costs, satisfying customers

Don't be surprised to see fewer menu choices and higher prices the next time you eat out. 

Restaurant owners are calling it the perfect storm: Not just a shortage of workers, but also a shortage of food supplies.  The backlogged supply chain has many restaurants struggling to get the ingredients they need to prepare menu items. 


In some cases, what restaurants can get is costing them three or four times more than normal. At Din Sum Mania in Media, Pennsylvania, owner Tom Guo often can't find everything he needs and he's had to pay a steep price when items are available. 

"The food cost is very high," Guo said. "Almost 100%, more than 100% on some stuff."

Noodles, a critical ingredient in Dim Sum Mania's dishes, went from $38 a case to $110 a case. The skyrocketing prices have forced Guo to ditch some menu items and raise prices on others, and customers have noticed. 

"We definitely see the prices go up, portions are smaller at a lot of places, so yea, it's definitely had an impact," one diner said. 

Local restaurants are feeling the squeeze of an ongoing supply chain issue.

Quotations, a neighboring restaurant, is also feeling the squeeze of higher costs driven by the bottlenecked supply chain. 

Four gallons of syrup that used to cost $100 flat now costs $400. And finding a dependable chicken supplier has been a hard egg to crack.

"There's a lot of ingredients we can't source because of Covid for many reasons. Our suppliers just don't have them, and they can't get them because they're also dealing with short staff," General Manager Ned Hanna said. 

Restaurant owners say customers, who are perhaps also feeling the squeeze of short supply, have been mostly understanding of their struggles. 



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