Inflation and rising diesel prices impacting restaurants

Inflation and diesel prices impact restaurants
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 7:28 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The spike in diesel prices is giving restaurants yet another challenge.

With the cost of diesel and food going up, each day it’s a tough balance for restaurants like J’s in Hartford.

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

“There’s no question about it trickle down effect is starting to take effect,” said Jordan Dikegoros.

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

Like many other independently owned restaurants, they’re feeling the impact of inflation.

“Every day we’re seeing these prices go up and we’re going what is next. you know things that cost us 10 dollars are now costing 40 dollars,” said Dikegoros.

While he’s fortunate customers are still coming out, Dikegoros said it’s certainly becoming more costly to run the restaurant.

“And keeping the prices affordable for people to be able to still go out to dinner is the bigger balance for us,” he said.

Transportation costs to deliver food on trucks are rising.

The current average price for diesel in the state is above $6 and that’s trickling down to businesses.

“And this is where our state I think needs to really step back and go we don’t need to be charging the sales tax that we’re charging on these high inflated prices. Especially restaurants. People are paying an extra 1% to dine in restaurants,” Dikegoros said.

73-percent of restaurants in the state are independently run.

“I just think at the federal level we have to understand the impacts of what’s going on around us and how it’s affecting small businesses at the heart of this,” said Scott Dolch, Executive Director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

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

“When those prime costs go up and continue to rise, you can’t push that off to the customers. You can look at raising menu prices a little bit but it’s not really making up for the other side of this,” Dolch said.

Restaurants of course don’t want to raise prices.

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

They also ask that people be patient and kind, as many are probably short staffed.

Restaurants hit hard by inflation