NYC restaurant 'getting killed' by inflation, crime spikes
Inflation for April hotter than expected
FOX Business’ Cheryl Casone reports on the highly anticipated consumer price index report moments after the Labor Department posted the data.
Bobby Van's Steakhouse owner Joseph Smith said that soaring inflation and a rise in crime in New York City has caused him to lose about a million dollars in business on a monthly basis between his eight restaurants.
"You take all that together and we are getting killed," Smith told Fox News Digital, stressing that crime and inflation has been "absolutely devastating" for business.
"Everything has gone up from gas to my employees’ rents," he said, noting that his workers have been asking for raises to account for the higher costs.
Smith said that he has been raising wages by $2 to $3 an hour depending on the position, but that the move further impacts his bottom line.
"You can’t really say no when you know they have three children and their rent is going up, their gas is going up, to buy food is going up," Smith said, noting that he also gives his employees chicken, rice and beans every Friday to help them out with the inflationary pressure.
Smith also noted that he has been "forced" to raise menu prices 10 to 20% depending on the item as his labor and input costs have soared.
INFLATION SOARS 8.3% IN APRIL, HOVERING NEAR 40-YEAR HIGH
"We are taking a second look now again, and we might have to make another move, which is the feeling of most restaurateurs," Smith said. "We don’t want to do it because there is only so much you can charge for a meal [and] there is only so much you can charge for a drink."
Smith noted that he had to raise meat prices by 15% because "it went up 30% from my purveyor."
"I couldn’t pass the 30% on to the customer, otherwise I’d have no customers," he continued, noting that he is "having to eat a lot of that cost – 15 % of it."