‘Every penny counts’: Phoenix restaurants struggle to find food and workers while keeping prices low | State and Regional

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‘Every penny counts’: Phoenix restaurants struggle to find food and workers while keeping prices low | State and Regional
‘Every penny counts’: Phoenix restaurants struggle to find food and workers while keeping prices low | State and Regional

SARA EDWARDS Cronkite News PHOENIX – Miracle Mile Deli has proudly served pastrami sandwiches for 72 years, but the pandemic has put Josh Garcia’s restaurant on “survival mode” easy to grasp, like chicken tenders we can’t reach, “Garcia said. “Manufacturers, like us, have staffing problems, but now that the world is open they can’t meet demand, so they try to bounce back and we’re at the end of it.” Small businesses and restaurants on Metro Phoenix are struggling due to this of supply chain bottlenecks and price hikes to staying afloat as they compete with Walmart, Amazon, and other powerhouses for products that fill shelves and pantries. They also compete for labor to fill important positions. Garcia touts Miracle Mile as one of the largest pastrami users on the West Coast; The restaurant serves around 3,000 pounds of pastrami every month. But the price, he said, has increased by $ 2 a pound since the pandemic was declared in March 2020. People also read…, food or drinks, everyone has seen some form of price increase, ”he said. “All big businesses have a lot of money and backing from investors and customers, but we’re just a small mom and pop company that has been around for 72 years and has 24 employees.” and ’21 on display helped revive consumer spending faster than supply, which closed as demand plummeted at the start of the pandemic, “Vitner said. “We still haven’t regained all of the jobs that were lost during the pandemic, and factories and warehouses are having a hard time getting workers back.” Prices rose 7.1% in Phoenix from a year ago, according to October consumer price index data. “And I think we’ll be in a better place in six months, but we’re not going to fully overcome these supply chain problems for at least a year.” and housing, small businesses don’t have the bargaining power to keep restaurants open without exhausting staff, Vintner told ghost kitchens that serve the delivery market, “he said. “It’s a really tough environment to work in.” Looking for Supplies Chip Mahoney, owner of Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits in the Ahwatukee Foothills section of Phoenix, hasn’t had enough cutlery since September. Usually cutlery is washed and folded into cloth napkins at the end of the work shift, but instead he drives to shops and grocery stores during the day in hopes of finding cutlery and other supplies for the restaurant while the staff washes and folds themselves during peak hours. “I’m driving around, getting nowhere and wasting my day,” he said. “That’s not how I want to run my business – drive through the valley looking for the products I need for my business.” Wicked Brews celebrated its first birthday in November and opened its doors for the first time when pandemic food restrictions limited the restaurant’s options for the first four months. Mahoney said he and his staff were working to promote the new restaurant while adhering to COVID-19 protocols, such as has really been a damper over the past four months, “Mahoney said. “It’s actually more difficult than opening it.” Mahoney said it was a numbers game trying to ensure Wicked Brews stocked up on products for the dining room while trying to keep prices down to cater to customers hold and attract. But even with product price increases that resulted in higher menu prices, the bills still pile up. The alcohol industry is also affected by shipping and other supply chain issues as many breweries and distilleries struggle to find supplies to bottle their alcohol. Brothers Josh and Jason Duren, who are co-owners of Cider Corps in Mesa, worked hard to get apple juice and fruit to brew their cider, but they also struggled to find cans for that cider. Wendy Tilton of Wild Hare Distillery in Tempe said her problem was not finding bottles to fill her alcohol, but finding the same bottle style to maintain brand consistency. “Our last order was supposed to come in August and I still haven’t got it,” said late November. “We ordered 375 milliliter bottles at the beginning of the year and waited for months to get them. And once they walked in, the bottle company couldn’t find any corks or sleeves to seal them. ”The battle for staff Mahoney said another part of his daily routine was finding staff for the restaurant. As a mom and pop operation, he said the company doesn’t have enough money to pay the number of staff necessary to properly staff the restaurant. Restaurants and bistros across the valley, including Cuisine & Wine Bistro in Chandler and Copper & Logs in Gilbert. It feels like they are in a “vicious circle,” said Mairead Buschtetz. “We got great federal aid last year to stay open. And we were very blessed, but there is no federal aid this year”, works with three other chefs and a dishwasher. At the moment, however, Fabrice is the only chef and there is no dishwasher. Instead, the Bush Nets and their three children step in where they can to keep the restaurants running, with Frenchie Pizza in Gilbert facing the greatest human resource challenges as it needs to hire workers, Mairead said they are can’t afford to pay for them as costs rise elsewhere in the store. Even with wages between $ 13 and $ 23 an hour, Mairead said the family can’t compete with companies like Amazon and Whole Foods for products that sell at least 30% are more expensive than usual, “she said.” It’s a terrible situation and I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know how long these people are e can hold out there. ”Working Together Many restaurants have had to get creative, either changing restaurant concepts or adding partner experiences to keep attracting customers and alleviate some of the bottlenecks. Josh Duren of Cider Corps said these challenges created an “enforced level of creativity” that American small businesses could end up turning to other people for help, “he said. Wild Hare has teamed up with a local chocolate company, Stone Grindz in Scottsdale, to host a tasting event organized by a chocolatier who mixes different chocolates with their spirits, and Tilton said they will continue the holiday season; only on Fridays, Saturdays and some Sundays by reservation. Live music wasn’t what Mahoney wanted to offer at Wicked Brews, but since its introduction during the pandemic, it has become the rule on Wednesdays and Friday evenings on your business plan, know your market and your guests to just stay on top, “he said . “Every penny counts now.” Get Local News in Your Inbox!

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