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The impacts of 'shrinkflation' across area restaurants as supply disruptions and price increases continue

While the pandemic did close down a number of businesses, local restaurants said they're hoping for a complete turnaround soon.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Supply shortages are still causing a strain on Coastal Bend restaurants, but business owners may have a solution to the ongoing problem. 

Glen Mier, President of the Coastal Bend Restaurant Association, said that 'shrinkflation' is already being felt by restaurant customers across south Texas. 

"The biggest fear for most restaurants is that our customers, loyal as they may be, just stop coming out to the restaurants," Mier said. 

Small businesses around the Coastal Bend are having a hard time getting the products they need to meet customer demand because of supply chain shortages, some of which are common items. 

"Some of the products that have gone up so drastically are chicken, fry oil, beef, so a lot of those are on every menu item," Mier said. "So in order to cut that lower and smaller, it's the reaction from the customer we're hoping that won't stop them from coming out."

Kathy Snapka, Owner of Snapka's Drive Inn, said she hopes customers retain a sense of understanding while her establishment continues to grapple with price increases. 

"We just hope that they are patient with us as we deal with these supply chain increases and the inflation," Snapka said. "And what we have to do is go up on prices because our food costs goes up."

For restaurants in particular, finding enough staff has been an even bigger challenge since the pandemic. 

"Things are not getting better," Mier said. "I think for the most part we're all looking for staff, we're looking for quality staff, we're looking for staff that will stay around. So making the most of it means being better operators. Working with them to make them feel appreciated. Doing that type of thing is great, but the bottom line is money."

While the pandemic did close down a number of businesses, local restaurants said they're hoping for a turnaround soon. 

"We don't plan on going anywhere," Snapka said. "We just ask for patience and understanding as we deal with all of these COVID-19 related changes that we have to deal with."

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