CAROLINA FOREST, S.C. (WBTW) — Several restaurants in the Carolina Forest area have permanently closed in the past few weeks, but new ones are on the way.
Brother Shuckers Bistro announced on it’s Facebook page this week that it would be closing because of increases in food and supply costs and staffing issues.
News13 spoke with several restaurant employees in the Carolina Forest area, who have all been affected by inflation and shortages.
Drew Doss, the director of operations for Tavern in the Forest/Tavern in Surfside, said running a restaurant has become more difficult.
“The cost of food has gone up in some cases by specific items 300% or more,” Doss said. “There’s other things that have increased substantially like the cost of labor which in some cases is up nearly 100%.”
He said there are also supply chain issues.
“We can’t reliably source ingredients that we typically use and we’re kind of left scrambling to try to track those down, or we’re just not able to offer certain parts of our menu on certain days,” he said.
Doss said it can be tough to navigate these kinds of situations.
“And that doesn’t include the staffing issues and trying to hire qualified and talented staff to come in and provide the level of service and food our guests have come to expect from us at Tavern,” he said.
He said Tavern in the Forest and Tavern in Surfside try to stay ahead of the shortages by communicating with suppliers about future supply shortages and price increases. This gives the restaurant opportunities to stock up on items, change recipes, source different items or alter menus.
“We are very resistant to price increases,” he said. “We look for every way to save first before we pass that along to the guests.”
Despite these challenges, Doss said the owners are opening two new, locally-owned restaurants this fall.
One will be an Italian restaurant in the old Brother Shuckers that is set to open in September.
“We just got the key yesterday [Wednesday] as a matter of fact,” he said.
The other restaurant is going to be a barbecue restaurant next to Publix. Doss that is scheduled to be completed by early October.
“The cost of building that out is probably double what it would have been five or six years ago,” he said.
Doss said it is important for locally owned businesses to maintain a great guest experience and high standards.
“With us being local it’s more important and more impactful for us to make sure that we maintain our reputation,” he said. “I’m sure there are other people around the beach and whatever that can make different decisions but we still have an expectation of quality that we’ve come to be expected by our guests and we intend to deliver on that no matter what.”
Doss’ message to people eating at restaurants during these shortages and price increases is to be nice.
“Just be kind to the staff that you encounter in those places,” he said. “They’re probably enduring a lot of long hours and staffing shortages, and they’re working very hard to try to deliver the same experience to you.”