(WFXR) — With rising prices, short supplies, and staffing issues, the economy is challenging plenty of businesses right now, but what about your favorite mom-and-pop restaurants around the Roanoke Valley?
“The employment thing is a challenge. Food costs are a huge challenge that we’re dealing with right now. Availability of food products is a challenge,” said Kylie Gray, who works at Three Li’l Pigs BBQ in Daleville.
According to Gray, the biggest issue the restaurant faces is staffing.
“It’s a really hard line of work to be in and it’s just hard finding people that want to do it right now,” Gray said.
Meanwhile, Frank’s Italian Restaurant in Roanoke is having the same issue. Assistant manager Jourdan Thomas says the eatery went from 30 applicants a week to just two.
However, Thomas and her general manager, Brittney Simmons, are getting used to the lack of employees while also trying to juggle surging ingredient prices and scarce availability.
“We used to be, like, ‘oh my gosh we’re out of this or we’re out of that,'” said Simmons, “and now we kind of just have to take it as it comes.”
Even with those major challenges, Frank’s saw their highest amount of business in 10 years on Friday, May 13.
“We’ve just had to look at new ways to get our name out there and doing stuff to bring in business,” Simmons said.
She says sponsoring and advertising with local teams and events has helped, and the restaurant uses delivery apps to reach customers as far as Garden City.
“Before the pandemic, we really didn’t do that stuff,” said Simmons. “Sometimes trying new things that can put your money on the line, but like I said, it’s worth it.”
While many restaurants like Frank’s and Three Li’l Pigs BBQ have had to raise a few prices amid inflation, they say the loyalty of repeat customers and the support of new customers is helpful.