The restaurant business has been hammered over the last few years…with COVID limiting dine-in services…ingredient shortages thanks to supply chain disruptions…and now inflation elevating prices for essential goods.
The owner of Monte Carlo Pizza & Wings, Mohamed Baccouche, says his shop has felt the burn.
“Oh, of course. I mean, especially the past, I would say six months, yeah, inflation has had a massive effect on our business.”
He says the price of ingredients went way up, including an essential for pizza dough
“The flour, that did go up. I mean, we’re talking about at least double the price already,” Baccouche said. “We used to get the fifty-pound bag for like fifteen-sixteen bucks, while we’re talking about $26-27 (now).”
Baccouche says other ingredients cost more too, and it costs him much more to make pizza nowadays.
“It used to cost around $3.50-$4.50. Now we’re looking at $5.50-$6 right now,” he shared. “Add the sauce, add the yeast, add the sugar, the salt and everything and that boosts the whole price of a pizza.”
Mix in the rising prices of other goods he needs at his restaurant and the problem snowballs.
“If they stay at this level, at a certain time, we’ll have to boost our prices up and we’ll work with the competition, so we don’t want to be far ahead, and we don’t want to be putting a distance between us,” Baccouche remarked.
He says that decision will be made soon.
“We’re State College, we cannot call it yet till the students come back,” he stated. “We are surviving the summer right now, trying to get ready for mid-August when everybody comes back, and we’re ready to work and make some money.”
Baccouche says his delivery and take-out business has increased and hopes it will grow more with students returning.