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Connecticut restaurants are struggling to meet post-pandemic demands, survey says

Quinn Dombrowski

According to a survey of over 4,000 businesses by the Connecticut Restaurant Association, 43% of restaurant owners said business conditions are worse now than they were three months ago and are having difficulties rebounding from COVID-19.

The survey indicated increasing wholesale costs and staffing shortages are cause for concern among restaurants. About 84% of respondents said costs have increased since 2019 and slower menu price increases aren’t balancing the uptick.

Most restaurants surveyed said they have job openings that are difficult to fill and more than half report not having enough employees to meet surging customer demand post-pandemic.

“Restaurant operators are masters at balancing adaptation and innovation to provide amazing service for their customers,” said Scott Dolch, president of the Connecticut Restaurant Association in the statement. “While operators are more pessimistic about the economy, they aren’t letting that get in the way of serving great food, providing exceptional service and creating a memorable experience.”

According to the Connecticut Restaurant Association, owners have cut hours, changed menus and reduced third-party delivery to cope.

More key findings from the survey can be found here.

Molly is a reporter covering Fairfield County. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.