Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore! We have traveled to an unknown territory otherwise known as the ‘Effects of the Pandemic’ land. Have you noticed that when you go to the grocery store that all the sudden your total bill seems to have doubled? Any chance you’ve seen “Now Hiring” signs at every single restaurant and fast food chain you used to frequent? Have you had to wait a bit longer to receive your food while dining out? All of this, and more, can be attributed to the effects of the pandemic, and we are feeling it too. You may be wondering why your proposal has some extra fees or the food pricing seems particularly high. Here is some explanation for the inflation in prices across the board.
Temporary Labor Shortage:
We are still reeling from the mass exodus from the food and hospitality industry from March of 2020. Millions of workers were either furloughed or laid off due to the hard stop in live events. Many of them benefited from the unemployment stimulus. Many of them found jobs in different (more thriving and stable) industries. Either way, we are struggling to get those staff back and, in many cases, having to pay the staff that DO confirm shifts a much higher rate. We have no option but to pay the higher rate to guarantee the same high-quality service our clients are accustomed to, which in turn causes us to charge our clients. Our staffing charges include coverage for Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment Insurance and Payroll Tax, (which is why you have most likely questioned a $25-$35 hourly rate for positions like Busser and Food Runner). PC (Pre-Covid) we used to rely on temporary staffing agencies for larger event staffing. This is also proving to be an unreliable solution due to Covid.
Increased Food Costs:
Is your grocery bill unusually high these days? It almost seems like the increase happened overnight, and in many cases, it did! We are feeling it too, badly! The last thing we ever want to do is increase our prices, but what we are finding is that some of our signature, most ordered items, (like our delicious Braised Short Ribs) have increased 350% in price. Items like red meat and chicken have tripled in cost due to production issues at the factories. The factories are charging surcharges to make up for the time lost during the COVID shutdown. Not to mention that they are also feeling the staffing shortage effects as well. Unfortunately, it is a domino effect and is finally trickling down to us. We will continue to offer high quality, locally sourced ingredients because that is the Feast way. We will never compromise quality for price, however, we will do our best to find the best quality for the lowest price.
Where do we go from here?
We are remaining positive and optimistic that this too shall pass. We are braving the storm and appreciate you braving it with us! We are still here, still honored to be a part of your most important life celebrations. We don’t take that lightly; we remain humbled and grateful for you selecting us to be a part of your life.
If you have any questions about the increase in costs, please don’t hesitate to ask! We are here for YOU and we will get through this together!