Local restaurants struggle as food prices rise amid record inflation

A report on Tuesday showed inflation was higher than expected and remains at a nearly 40-year high.

The high rate of inflation has impacted all New Jersey residents, who may have noticed higher prices.

There are small business owners in New Jersey trying to stay afloat without passing the higher prices on to their customers.

Anita Amin has owned Indian restaurant Masala Bay in Somerset for over seven years. She says she has never seen anything like she has seen in the past few months.

She says the prices of almost everything she needs to make her meals have gone up. The worst thing for her was the price of the chicken. She says she paid about $27 for 40 pounds of poultry. She says it now costs over $100 for the same amount. Prices of items such as flour, milk and rice have also increased.

Amin says she had to raise her prices twice last year just to keep up, but her customers have been supportive so far.

“The easiest thing to do is go to the grocery store once a week, buy some supplies, and take care of your kids at home. People won’t pay $50 to $60 more for their family if they don’t need it. Everyone is losing money right now, it’s crazy,” says Amin.

But she says wages aren’t going up. She says she just signed a new lease for the business because rents are also going up.

She hopes that prices stabilize or that she may have to raise her prices again.

Gladys T. Hensley