Restaurants turn to supply chain surcharge to survive higher costs


“Some people do put something on their actual receipt that there will be a surcharge for supply chain. That’s one way to go about it. Other restaurants are just changing their restaurant prices,” said John Barker, President and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association. “Either case, restaurants are already in such a tight financial situation that they’re going to have to pass on those costs because if they don’t, they’ll lose money.”

Barker is advising restaurant owners to prepare for supply chain impacts at least through the spring.

“(Supply chain issues are) not going to go away because the underlying issues for it. And that is just a lack of available workers up and down the supply chain, not just in restaurants, but in every industry that we’re aware of,” said Barker.

“I actually noticed after I paid, which is fine,” said patron Hannah Volz, who ate at Taste of Belgium Tuesday night.

She said she understood the need for the charge, but it did initially catch her off guard.

“I hadn’t heard of restaurants doing it yet. And I made a comment to my friend,” she said. “Just knowing everything that’s happening in the world with supply chain issues and staffing issues I can’t say I’m necessarily surprised, I understand.”

“It only takes a few people or a few products or a few shipments to be off to really disrupt an entire supply chain,” said Chuck Sox, with the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Linder College of Business.

He predicts a return to normal by this time next year.

“I think by the end of 2022, things will fairly normal… but I think a big component to answer that question is how quickly we get the pandemic under control,” said Sox.

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