‘Restaurant week’ boosts business as local restaurants face inflation and labor shortages

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Restaurant week in New Orleans is offering special menus and dining deals to boost business for local restaurants as tourism begins to slow in the city.

From June 20-26, approximately 70 restaurants in New Orleans will offer creative menus and experiences to encourage people to dine.

With the lingering effects of the pandemic and the current rise in supply costs, local restaurants are working hard to make money. But Restaurant Week, organized by the Louisiana Restaurant Association and New Orleans and Companyhopes to bring much-needed income.

“It helps us attract a lot of customers, a lot of locals,” said Paige Roth, director of blue crab, one of the restaurants taking part in Restaurant Week this year. “I guess more people are going out and moving around after COVID.”

As temperatures rise, local restaurants are starting to see a “chill”.

“This is really coming at a time when business is starting to slow down,” said Kyle Brechtel, owner of Coppervine, another participating restaurant. “Business started picking up last year in 2021, then we had labor issues and now food cost issues, so it’s kind of one crisis after another.”

Inflation, supply chain issues and rising gas prices have driven product prices up dramatically, forcing restaurants to change the menu.

“We had to raise the prices a bit,” Roth said. “Crab meat is definitely one of the most expensive things we have to buy.”

“Tuna is up 40%, chicken is up,” Brechtel said. “The chef told me that the eggs had gone up 150%, so we took a small price increase in January, but we’re really trying to absorb it as much as possible.”

Brechtel said 26 months of challenges have been a long time for the food and service industry. These impacts, however, are not unique to New Orleans restaurants alone.

“We said, ‘Look, we know what the challenges are right now and it’s really important that you put forward what you do best or what you do creatively, if you want to come up with new elements of menu, do it. said Wendy Waren with the Louisiana Restaurant Association.

She said an event like Restaurant Week can help restaurants in these tough times and boost their revenue.

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