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A check on NH restaurants


NH Business: Checking in on New Hampshire’s restaurants

Restaurants across the country are struggling to deal with rising costs and a shortage of workers.



WELCOME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS. I’M FRANK COKE. I LOVE TO GO OUT TO NEW HAMPSHIRE RESTAURANTS, BUT RIGHT NOW NEW HAMPSHIRE RESTAURANTS ARE OPERATING WITH HIGHER COSTS. TROUBLE GETTING SOME EMPLOYEES AND WITH UNPAID FOOD SUPPLIES IN SOME CASES. SO THE NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION IS SAYING THE SAME THING ACROSS THE COUNTRY. HERE IS A QUOTE FROM THEM. APPROXIMATELY 95% OF OUR RESTAURANT SALES DOLLARS GO TO FOOD, LABOR AND OPERATING COSTS, ALL OF WHICH ARE INCREASED IN EACH MONTH, WHILE WHOLESALE FOOD PRICES HAVE INCREASED 16.3% IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS. MENU PRICES HAVE INCREASED TO ONLY 7.6% IN THAT SAME PERIOD. AND THEN HERE’S ANOTHER QUOTE. SO IF 5% OF RESTAURANT OPERATORS REPORT NOT HAVING ENOUGH EMPLOYEES TO SUPPORT CUSTOMER DEMAND, AND HERE ARE THE NUMBER OF RESTAURANTS AND FOOD PRICES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, IT’S 3001 49 WITH 47,000 EMPLOYEES. SO THIS IS BIG BUSINESS. NOW, WITH ME ARE THE OWNERS OF POPULAR NEW HAMPSHIRE RESTAURANTS, PATRICK DEGNAN, WHO IS OWNER OF GRANITE STATE STEAK AND GRILL IN ROCHESTER, WHO ALSO OPERATES WINDJAMMER, A SEAFOOD RESTAURANT ACROSS TOWN AND LOCAL REPAIRS. LUCA IS OWNER OF LUCAS MEDITERRANEAN CAFE AND KEENE, ALSO PRESIDENT OF THE GREATER GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. WELCOME TO YOU BOTH. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. OKAY, PATRICK, YOU’VE JUST. YOU’RE HAVING ISSUES WITH HIRING, WITH FOOD SUPPLIES AND HIGHER COSTS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO DEAL WITH THOSE ISSUES, ESPECIALLY AT THIS TIME WHEN INFLATION IS RAMPANT? WELL, UNFORTUNATELY, WE’VE ACTUALLY HAD TO START CLOSING TWO DAYS A WEEK, WHICH USED TO BE A SEVEN DAY A WEEK OPERATION. AND WE’VE HAD TO SCALE THAT BACK BECAUSE THE PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO WORK AND START TO BURN OUT. WE’RE SPENDING THOUSANDS EVERY MONTH ON TRYING TO RECRUIT. IT’S JUST A SLOW, ONGOING PROCESS. AND WE RAISE PRICES THAT ARE ABSOLUTELY THE LAST YEAR, AND I’M GOING TO HAVE TO DO ANOTHER MENU PRICE HERE VERY, VERY SHORTLY. YEAH. LUCA, SAME QUESTION. YEAH. SO WHAT’S YOUR WHAT YOU HAVING RIGHT NOW IS THAT. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH PATRICK IS HAPPENING EVERYWHERE. AND WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS TRY TO MAINTAIN THE QUALITY AND NOT RAISE THE PRICES TOO MUCH BECAUSE HOW MUCH IS SOMEONE GOING TO PAY FOR A HAMBURGER OR A STEAK? YOU KNOW, WHEN BURGERS START COSTING $20 EACH, PEOPLE START LOOKING AT US LIKE WE’RE CRAZY, BUT WE’RE JUST PAYING, TAILING THE LEVEL JUST TO KEEP IN PLACE OPERATING. SO IT’S DIFFICULT, BUT WE HAVE TO FIND THAT BALANCE AS RESTAURANT TOURS OF HOW DO WE TAKE CARE OF OUR CLIENTS BUT ALSO KEEP OUR TEAM AND KEEP IT GOING. FOOD SUPPLY A PROBLEM? PATRICK. ABSOLUTELY. I’D SAY ON AVERAGE, IT TAKES AT LEAST 25% LONGER TO DO A FOOD ORDER. THESE DAYS. YOU KNOW, IF YOU IF YOU HAVE, WE DO IT ONLINE. SO IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A SUBSTITUTE OR WE MAY EVEN HAVE TO GO TO ANOTHER VENDOR AND FIND THAT SIMILAR PRODUCT. LOOK. HOW ABOUT YOU? THE BEST THING TO DO RIGHT NOW WITH THAT IS TO START REDUCING MENUS AND FINDING THOSE ITEMS. YOU CAN GET MORE READILY AND MAKE THE OTHER STUFF PART OF THE THE SPECIALS OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS, BECAUSE OTHERWISE YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO HAVE A FULL MENU. YEAH. HAVE EITHER OF YOU TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THE FEDERAL OR STATE FUNDING, SUCH AS THE GOVERNOR’S. $3 MILLION FUND TO REIMBURSE RESTAURANTS FOR EQUIPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY? I HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THE MAIN STREET GRANT, BOTH OF THE PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAMS AND THE EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT. SAME HERE. WE HAVEN’T GOTTEN TO THE FUNDING FOR THE EQUIPMENT, BUT THAT’S A IT’S A GREAT PROGRAM THAT’S OUT THERE. MY THANKS TO PATRICK, THE OWNER OF GRANITE STATE STEAK AND GRILL IN ROCHESTER AND LOCAL PARIS, OWNER OF LOGO’S MEDITERRANEAN CAFE AND TEAM. HERE IS PART OF THIS INTERVIEW, A RAISING RATHER ON RESTAURANTS IN NEW ANTRIM VOTED WM

NH Business: Checking in on New Hampshire’s restaurants

Restaurants across the country are struggling to deal with rising costs and a shortage of workers.

Restaurants across the country and struggling to combat inflation and a shortage of workers, and New Hampshire is no different. New Hampshire’s restaurants are operating with higher costs, fewer employees, and unpredictable supplies, so how are they getting by?On the latest installment of NH Business, host Fred Kocher is joined by Patrick Gagnon, owner of Granite Steak & Grill in Rochester, and Luca Paris, Owner of Luca’s Mediterranean Café in Keene, to discuss what restaurants in the Granite State are doing to keep their doors open.

Restaurants across the country and struggling to combat inflation and a shortage of workers, and New Hampshire is no different. New Hampshire’s restaurants are operating with higher costs, fewer employees, and unpredictable supplies, so how are they getting by?

On the latest installment of NH Business, host Fred Kocher is joined by Patrick Gagnon, owner of Granite Steak & Grill in Rochester, and Luca Paris, Owner of Luca’s Mediterranean Café in Keene, to discuss what restaurants in the Granite State are doing to keep their doors open.



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