Massachusetts

Restaurants Struggle With Increased Costs

As restaurants attempt to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, food inflation is raising the cost of doing business

NBC Universal, Inc.

Rising costs are complicating matters for many restaurants still working to recover from the pandemic.

At Vico's Restaurant in Norwood, Massachusetts, owner Vincenzo Loffredo is feeling the heat.

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"Last couple of years have been a little hard," Loffredo said.

First came the pandemic, and all the challenges that came with it for the restaurant industry. Now, Loffredo says he is battling the spike in prices on everything from mozzarella to tomatoes.

"It is bad, the increase is like 25-40%," he said.

Nearby, at Spot, a bagel café, owner Perry Makarios is also feeling it.

"We are losing money every month," Makarios said Friday. "There isn't something that hasn't gone up."

According to the National Restaurant Association, wholesale food prices are up nearly 20% over last year, the largest jump in almost 50 years.

The price hikes are a real problem at a place like Spot, because according to the Restaurant Association, egg prices are up 220% this year, butter is up 51% and flour has spiked 40%.

"There isn't a thing that hasn't gone up — wage, utilities, everything," Makarios said.

Even so, he refuses to raise the prices at Spot.

"It is what it is, that's all. You roll with the punches," he said. "You go through your waves, you stay alive, and that is all you can do."

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