Inflation and rising diesel prices impact restaurants

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Soaring diesel prices are giving restaurants another challenge.

With the rising cost of diesel and food, it’s a difficult balancing act every day for restaurants like J’s in Hartford.

It’s been one challenge after another since the pandemic hit.

“There’s no doubt that the trickle down effect is starting to kick in,” Jordan Dikegoros said.

Dikegoros is the owner of J Restaurant Bar which has been in business for 52 years.

Like many other independent restaurants, they are feeling the impact of inflation.

“Every day we see these prices increasing and we are moving towards the next step. you know things that cost us $10 now cost $40,” Dikegoros said.

Although he’s lucky that customers are still going out, Dikegoros said it’s definitely getting more expensive to run the restaurant.

“And keeping the prices affordable so people can still go out to dinner is the biggest balancing act for us,” he said.

Transportation costs to deliver food by truck are increasing.

The current average price of diesel in the state is over $6 and that is impacting businesses.

“And that’s where our state, I think, really needs to step back and go, we don’t need to charge the sales tax that we charge on these high inflated prices. Especially the restaurants. People pay 1% more to dine in restaurants,” Dikegoros said.

73% of restaurants in the state are independently operated.

“I just think at the federal level we need to understand the impacts of what’s happening around us and how it affects the small businesses at the heart of it,” said Scott Dolch, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

Dolch said restaurants are trying to find creative and effective ways to deal with inflation.

“When those production costs go up and keep going up, you can’t pass them on to customers. You can consider raising menu prices a bit, but that doesn’t really make up for the other side of the situation,” Dolch said.

Of course, restaurants don’t want to raise prices.

That’s why the Connecticut Restaurant Association said it’s so important that people continue to support local businesses if they can.

They also ask people to be patient and kind, as many are probably understaffed.

Restaurants hit hard by inflation

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