Charleston, South Carolina – The beginning of the football season is brining back the football fans in the sports bar, but the latest increase in prices might make fans’ bar experience a little bit spicier.
According to the fans, most of the restaurants and bars in the Lowcountry are now operating with increased food and beverage prices, just at the start of the new football season causing issues for the fans.
A local restaurant owner explains that the increased prices are a result of increased operational costs amid staffing shortages and long period of closure during the past year and a half.
“These price increases that the restaurant tour is putting forward is a result of everything above our heads being increased on us,” said Anthony DiBernardo, owner of Swig & Swine BBQ.
The hospitality industry was the most hit industry by the pandemic. While both hotels and restaurants saw an increase in operations during the summer months, the 18-month-long pandemic period caused issues for owners that will surely need time to fully recover.
Barbeque owners like DiBernardo have been backed into a corner, forced to increase prices due to supply chain issues.
“The consumer is the last link in the chain, unfortunately,” he said. “We’re the second-to-last link in the chain.”
The slowdowns in operations combined with the workers shortage are the two most important reasons why the prices have gone up recently.
“Chicken wings have become a large issue, and that’s probably one of our biggest issues,” said Home Team Barbeque owner Aaron Siegel. “It’s one of our biggest sellers.”
Currently, another major issue for bars and restaurants are supply shortages. According to Siegel, two weeks ago their suppliers couldn’t provide mustard and elbow macaroni and ice cream mix. In the last 10 days, they are seeing chicken wings shortages, the most popular food especially in sports bars.
Restaurant owners fear that these kinds of shortages might continue in the upcoming period. They all agree that the current situation directly affects the prices in the menu and price changes might be expected even on a weekly basis.
“We try to change things across the board, so it’s less impactful than one particular item,” Siegel said. “Especially with something like chicken wings which is one of our best-sellers.
“In regard to chicken wings, we’re still not charging enough to make our budgeted food costs,” DiBernardo said. “Because I just can’t see charging that much for chicken wings, so we’re taking the hit. So, when you come in to buy wings, make sure you buy a beer too; help me out.”
Since most the of local bars and restaurants already have loyal customers, they are trying to keep them always informed on time to avoid potential dissatisfaction when they arrive at the bars. According to them, they always use their social media profiles to properly inform customers when it comes to price changes. Both of them are thankful to their loyal customers supporting them at these difficult times.