As restaurants see more business, customers may see prices rise
OCEAN CITY, MD.- We’ve seen prices rise for commodities like gasoline and lumber and the restaurant industry may be next. “Restaurants are going to have no choice but to raise their prices and in Ocean City prices are already high to be candid,” said John Fager.
On top of the current labor shortage for many across the industry, we’re told shipping, cost of delivery, and limited supply are what many restaurants are currently up against as well. “I think the pandemic backed up the supply and they haven’t been able to catch up yet. The labor force has a lot to do with it. The companies that produce the items don’t have enough help to produce what they need to produce and they’re still working on back orders,” said General Manager of Coconut’s Beachfront Restaurant Bar Jeff Hicks.
Owners say that prices of almost all products have went up across the board, especially for protein. Hicks says not only is it expensive sometimes they can’t even get their hands on them. “Chicken wings, crab meat, plastic cups, and other stuff is just hard to come by right now,” said Hicks.
Despite this, John Fager, Owner of Fager’s Island Restaurant, says prices haven’t impacted business traffic yet. He says some customers may be willing to be pay the extra price just to feel a sense of freedom again. “We’re seeing people all the time who are saying its been the first time I’ve been out to dinner in a year and we’re just happy to be out,” said Fager.
Fager also says that pricing is currently at it’s peak right now. Owners also say they expect prices to go back down going into the fall, but things wont go back to how they were before the pandemic.