A Mississippi restaurant owner said on Friday that soaring inflation makes it “hard to be in our business” right now as restaurateurs are dealing with a “perfect storm.”
Jeff Good, who co-founded three restaurants in Jackson, Mississippi, noted that he’s forced to charge $27 for chicken wings, while the real cost is $34.
“We’re turning a profit, we’re just not turning the profit that we would based on the math of how restaurants price their items,” Good told “Fox & Friends First” on Friday. “It’s expensive.”
He noted that a lot of items are on a “continual rise,” but “luckily sometimes something falls” and he gets a little break.
“But right now we kind of have the perfect storm of demand, of scarcity, the Ukrainian war, Avian flu, supply chain, it is hard to be in our business,” he added.
INFLATION SOARS 8.3% IN APRIL, HOVERING NEAR 40-YEAR HIGH
Around 18 months ago, a 40-pound box of chicken wings cost Good about $85, but now, the price could reach as high as about $150, the Orange County Register reported.
Good also reportedly said that expenses for cooking oil and flour have nearly doubled in the past five months and noted that he’s paying more for labor as well.
The outlet reported that the company that maintains its air conditioners has tackled on a $40 fuel charge per visit. To deal with all the price hikes, Good reportedly said he has been forced to raise menu prices.
Good, who has been in the restaurant industry for 30 years, told “Fox & Friends First” on Friday that he has never seen anything like this before.
He noted that he has experienced “seasonal issues” in the past.
“You might have a drought that would cause problems with romaine lettuce or field greens coming out of Salinas Valley in California. You might see something with the orange crop in Florida,” Good explained.
“But to have something that is universal and global like this is really unheard of.”
He then said that because of the current situation, “we are doing everything we can to be decisive in our decisions, very frugal, but also we are just very thankful that our customers really understand this.”
“I think since everyone goes to the grocery store and everyone goes and buys gas, they can see that everything is expensive,” Good continued.
Earlier this month it was revealed that inflation cooled on an annual basis for the first time in months in April, but rose more than expected as supply chain constraints, the Russian war in Ukraine and strong consumer demand continued to keep consumer prices running near a four – decade high.
The Labor Department said earlier this month that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 8.3% in April from a year ago, below the 8.5% year-over-year surge recorded in March. Prices jumped 0.3% in the one-month period from March.
Those figures were both higher than the 8.1% headline figure and 0.2% monthly gain forecast by Refinitiv economists.
The slight slowdown in inflation last month came as energy prices declined 2.7%, driven by a 6.1% drop in gasoline (which had climbed a stunning 18.3% the prior month as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war).
Still, price increases were widespread: Food prices have jumped 1% over the month, marking the 17th consecutive monthly increase for that index. The largest monthly increases were in dairy (2.5%, the sharply monthly increase since 2007), meats, poultry, fish and eggs (1.4%) and cereal and bakery products (1.1%).
On Friday, the national average for a gallon of gas was $4.59, a slight increase from the day before and a new record high.
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Thursday’s record was 16 cents higher than the week before, nearly 50 cents higher than the month before and $1.55 more compared to the same time last year.
Tighter supply and increased demand have pushed gas prices higher, according to AAA.
“As restaurants have to make adjustments to their prices,” Good said. “I think the consumer is actually quite kind and we appreciate that cause we’re just trying to do what we can do.”
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