CT restaurants struggle with staffing and supply shortages

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It’s been a hell of a race for Connectict restaurants, and even though COVID restrictions have been lifted, they still face many other challenges.

If you’re a restaurant owner in Connecticut or wondering why one of your favorite restaurants isn’t performing like it was before the pandemic, there are a number of reasons why things are far from being back. to normal.

According to wtnh.com, more than 600 restaurants in the state closed permanently during the pandemic, so for those who managed to survive, they still face major challenges as staff shortages, chain downturns. supply and rising prices threaten their future.

It seemed there was a silver lining when COVID-19 numbers started to drop and restrictions on meals were lifted in early summer. People started to come back, restaurants started to fill up and it seemed like things were slowly getting back to normal.

Then the reality of the times set in and restaurants were faced with new challenges. According to statistics from the Connecticut Restaurant Association, since the lifting of restrictions related to the pandemic, there are 25,000 positions to be filled in restaurants. By comparison, restaurants were reporting some 160,000 employees in 2020 before the pandemic, up from just 135,000 employees in 2021. If you do the math, you’ll see that restaurants operate with only about 60 to 70 percent of the staff they used to be. working with it, that’s why it takes you longer to get service and longer to get your food.

Speaking of food, if you add in the supply chain shortage then you have double the number of small staff and more expensive menu items.

A couple going out to dinner now is probably paying as much as $ 20 more than what you paid before the pandemic. The Connecticut Restaurant Association reports that in the past two months, protein prices have risen 57%, eggs have risen nearly 44%, and oil freight has risen 47%. So you can see why many restaurants are holding their breath in the hopes of staying afloat and being able to get through the winter.

It hasn’t been easy for many local restaurants, and some are on the brink. If they aren’t able to hire more staff and prices continue to rise, many say they may have to close their doors even before the holiday rush.

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