Hammered by pandemic, restaurants now feeling the pinch of inflation

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- There's a new threat for local restaurants that survived unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic -- the strain of record inflation.

At Union Special in downtown Raleigh, one of the biggest headaches for the bakery is the cost of flour.

The owner said flour has shot up by 50% in the past six months.

Other ingredients that he needs to make butter croissants, bread and pastries are also rising.

He said milk has gone up 25% and eggs have doubled in the past 90 days.

READ MORE: Tips to help you save as inflation continues to rise

The owner hasn't taken any items off the menu because of inflation, but he has increased wholesale prices.

Supply chain problems continue to remain another issue.

One restaurant group told ABC11 that oftentimes after placing an order, it only learns what it is getting when the truck pulls up and a distributor starts unloading boxes.

It's not just food that's hit or miss.

READ MORE: Supply chain woes, food prices force Meals on Wheels of Wake County to get creative

"Beer and wine and spirits. we're having great impact on what's behind the bar and what we're able to get on a regular basis," said LM Restaurants spokesperson Kat Goldfaden. "So again, that's just working with our partners to know what's coming in the door, so that what's reflected on our menu is accurate to what we're pouring."

There are some positive signs in the industry. A recent national study from the NPD Group shows dine-in restaurant visits increased by 38% during the first quarter of this year.
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