Local restaurants struggling with rising food prices and lack of workers

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – As COVID-19 restrictions relax, customers are returning to local restaurants, but many are struggling to keep up.

The interchange in downtown Colorado Springs is a prime example. They see food prices rising from their suppliers and they struggle to keep enough staff to prepare their food. This imposes an uncertain future on the company that has taken up residence in the city center for nearly a decade.

“It scares me. It scares me. You know we were joking the other day, maybe it’s time to sell. It’s not a joke anymore,” said Andy Schlesinger, co-owner of The Exchange .

He said the cost of bacon has apparently doubled overnight in the past two weeks, while the cost of chicken wings has more than tripled in the past month. Suppliers claim this is a temporary price increase, due to supply chain issues linked to a pandemic. Still, this forces their business to consider modifying the menu to include foods they can afford.

This is not their only obstacle.

They also face a shortage of skilled workers. Half of their kitchen staff quit over the weekend for a variety of reasons, such as family emergencies, moving to a new location, or an issue with the lifting mask mandate. This has forced them to cut opening hours and cancel catering reservations – they just don’t have the staff to prepare the food.

He said they pay the kitchen staff as much as possible, but with unemployment incentives and companies paying big bucks to other cooks, that’s not enough.

“Nobody’s going to pay $ 10 or 12 for a cup of coffee so that I can pay my guys, you know, $ 22 or 25 an hour – and it’s worth it, but you can only do what you want. can do. “

Schlesinger said they are actively looking for background staff. If you have cooking experience and would like to apply, Click here.

Unless things get easier, Schlesinger and his partner are ready to sell the business.


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