Restaurant owners in Timmins face rising food costs
Restaurants in Timmins are doing what they can to keep the doors open as food and production costs continue to rise.
Two owners said rising costs are a big problem as they try to keep their respective businesses going during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Casey's Grill and Bar in Timmins has been serving customers for thirty-eight years. It’s owner said she's never seen food prices climb like they have since the onset of the pandemic.
Now, Sylvia Reid is struggling on what decisions to make.
“We haven’t raised our prices here in seven years. So now with the cost and everything on produce and meat. It’s hard with these times. So, how do you put up your prices now,” said Reid
“And we were also looking to revamp our menu, and it’s so hard cause you never know from week-to-week what you’re going to receive and what you’re not going to receive."
She said other owners have told her they're considering taking Cesar salad off menus. Her kitchen manager, Todd Fountain, said the price of lettuce has more than doubled in a year.
“Most of our produce is American right now and like Sylvia said, romaine lettuce is nearing $120 a case for twenty-four heads, and iceberg is even more than that; it’s over $120 a case. I just think they need to figure out the supply chain issues," Fountain said.
At Radical Gardens, owners and staff said they're always trying to come up with new ways to stay afloat.
Owner Brianna Humphrey said costs to give her staff a living wage, and to maintain its eco-friendly standing and high quality menus, -as left her with no choice but to increase prices.
"Cause our blanket cost increase is about three to four per-cent and then on top of that you have anywhere from a three-hundred per cent increase to like an eight per cent increase. We had to do something about this or we weren’t going to be around much longer," said Humphrey.
She said the restaurant industry needs to change as a whole alluding to the issue of staff shortages as a result of people not making a living wage, or receiving food from their places of work, calling it unacceptable.