Local restaurants face an uphill battle amid supply chain crisis and rising inflation

ELMIRA, NY (WETM) — From sticker shock at the supermarket to skyrocketing prices at restaurants, everyone is paying more for just about everything.

According to the consumer price index, the cost of food has risen by an average of 3.6% – the biggest increase since 1979. The rise in prices is impacting local restaurants in the part south, including Elmira’s Barb’s Soup’s On Cafe.

“Prices haven’t just gone up 10 or 15%, things have gone up 20% at double [the price]said Barb’s Soup owner Barbara McClure.

The biggest increase is in meat, which is up almost 9%. It’s not just the price of food that’s going up, the cost of things like take-out containers has doubled in some cases.

Rising costs are forcing some local restaurants, like Barb’s, to consider raising their prices.

“We don’t want to scare anyone off by raising prices, but on the other hand, we really should,” McClure told 18 News.

McClure said the lack of food, due to supply chain issues, could also force his company to raise prices.

“We don’t have the things we need to make some of our important soups,” she said. “For two months I couldn’t get the main ingredient for [one of the soups].”

Experts say the supply chain is in a crisis not seen in decades, and it could take a while because things bounce back.

“It’s definitely one we haven’t seen in 30, 40, maybe 50 years,” said Matthew Burr, assistant professor of business administration at Elmira College. “I don’t think we’ve seen the end of inflation yet. I think it’s probably going to continue to spread through 2022.”

Gladys T. Hensley