Restaurants eating cost of higher energy, food, fuel

Chip Robert is running Mike Anderson’s like any other day but in these times that’s getting harder to do.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 3:18 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:41 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Chip Robert is running Mike Anderson’s like any other day but in these times that’s getting harder to do.

“When your energy bills double, with our margins that are set the way that they are in restaurants, which are small, It’s hitting, it’s really hitting us hard.”

Robert’s energy bill for his restaurant recently doubled to $2,400 for just one month.

“We make sure that we adjust the AC units whenever they’re not in use we turn lights off whenever they’re not in use we turn kitchen equipment on off when it’s not in use, so we’re doing everything in our part to conserve, you know so, but there’s only so much that you can do,” Robert said.

It’s not just energy, the higher cost of food and fuel is also impacting their bottom line.

“Chicken breasts, you used to be able to buy at $1.25 a case, costing us approximately 75-to-80 bucks. Now that’s 125 to 175. That’s almost double,” Chef K.D., who operates catering for Mike Anderson’s, said.

“A lot of our clientele are within a 50-to-100-mile range, what that means is literally what used to be a 30-to-40 dollar charge just to drive to Baton Rouge and back now can be $100. To go to the North Shore or New Orleans could be 150,” he said.

Robert said restaurants could not keep passing the costs on to customers otherwise, it will get too expensive for them to dine out.

“Well, there’s only so much that we can pass on to our customers. You know, I mean our guests, we want to treat them fairly, but unfortunately treating them fairly means that we’re mistreating ourselves. If we increase the prices as much as we need to, then we really don’t. Think that people would be eating out as much as they do right now,” Robert said.

Robert and Chef K.D. said when you can, support local businesses.

“The only way the local economy works is if the local economy works together, spends money locally, that’s really the bottom line,” Chef K.D. said.

Robert also said they will not be cutting their hours, because their employees also need to pay their bills.

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