'Offset costs by raising prices': Durham restaurant among many small businesses feeling inflation

Akilah Davis Image
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Durham restaurant among many small businesses pinched by inflation
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Restaurants are taking it day by day, and economists say don't expect food prices to drop anytime soon.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The prices on Boricua Soul's menu are the highest they've ever been with inflation.

Owner Toriano Fredericks and his staff have been serving up cuisine meant to celebrate his and his wife's heritage since November 2019.

"We use a lot of frying oil, so frying oil has more than doubled. Really, it's tripled in less than a year. Chicken prices and all of our meat prices have fluctuated, but mostly gone up," said Fredericks. "The main way we offset costs is by raising prices."

He posted a video to Instagram showing how expensive chicken has gotten.

Duke University economists said Wednesday don't expect the price of gas and food to drop anytime soon. Emma Rasiel says gas prices are the most noticeable price increase, and meat prices aren't too far behind.

"On the grocery store side, we have to consume food. We have no choice. We need to buy that milk, eggs and bread. And so, grocery stores are able to push some of costs increases on to us than say restaurants are able to," said Rasiel.

According to Rasiel, the cost of food won't go down in the short term. She and other economists said the country appears to be headed toward a recession.

Business owners like Fredericks are keeping an eye on things, too.

"We're just trying it day by day trying to track what's going on and keeping our daily costs under control," he said.