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Restaurant Supply

Staffing shortage among vendors causing additional headaches for local restaurants | Connecticut News

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Local restaurants are facing yet another hurdle.

Numerous owners say there’s been shipment delays in food and other products they rely on for business.

Like many restaurants, Vaughn’s Public House in Hartford has been struggling with low staff.

The owner joins many in saying low staffing at their vendors is starting to create new problems in operations.

As restaurants continue to fill all of their openings, owners say their vendors are doing the same and it’s starting to cost them.

“I don’t know. They say they don’t have delivery drivers, all kinds of excuses why we’re not getting these products in and getting shorted products on short notice,” James Varano, owner of Black Eyes Sally’s tells us.

They may also deal with higher food costs.

Supply issues were on the table today during a restaurant roundtable with Congressman Richard Blumenthal.

With some supplies becoming unreliable, some restaurants are having to consider changing or modifying their menus.

“All of a sudden, they say, ‘Oh you know what? Those thirty cases that were planning to come to the east coast, they’re not coming now. There’s three cases coming.’ That changes a lot, changes the whole system. It’s kind of like a scramble to get these products, especially when you have it on the menu,” restaurant owner Phil Barnett stated.

Phil Barnett, whose restaurants include the Wood N’ Tap chain, says they’re trying to work around it, even picking up food and alcohol products themselves to ensure their customers get the same experience.

“We’ve even had a situation where my business partner actually took his pickup truck, a trailer, and had to go up and pick up about 240 cases from our distributor about two weeks ago, because we didn’t get the product in,” Barnett explained.

Senator Blumenthal is trying to get more federal funding to help restaurants.

He committed to replenishing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund before he’d return to Connecticut from our nation’s capitol.