NewsPinellas County


St. Pete restaurant feels impacts of inflation

Posted at 8:05 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 05:48:29-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association said increased costs related to supply chain shortages, increased wages and inflation continue to impact the hospitality industry.

Bernie Moran and his wife, Heidi, operate CD Roma in St. Petersburg. They are feeling the impact of inflation.

Moran said he has seen a drastic increase in the cost of protein like chicken and beef.

"Ground beef, we were paying $1.00 a pound for ground beef, maybe $1.12 and we fight now to keep it under $3 a pound," said Moran.

On Thursday, the restaurant offered a BOGO deal on chicken parmigiana.

"We thought of getting rid of the special just to keep the price down. We thought of doing buy one, get one half off. We just realized it’s just not as attractive," said Moran.

Moran said the cost of doing business has drastically increased, but he is trying not to pass the cost onto customers.

"We’re a family-friendly environment and trying to stay economical for families. We’re at the point where we’re going to have to make a correction," he said.

"When you buy in bulk such as restaurants like we do we see it. We feel it. Our average truck was about $3,000 and my average truck now is about $5,200, twice a week," said Moran.

According to the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the food service industry nationwide is forecast to reach $898 billion in sales in 2022; however, when adjusted for inflation, industry sales are still 11.5% below pre-COVID 2019 sales.

Additionally, 79% of operators said their total labor costs (as a percentage of sales) are higher than they were prior to the COVID outbreak, according to the association.

Inflation has added additional strain on hotels and restaurants still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, historic labor shortages, and supply chain issues, according to the FRLA.

"What we’ve noticed now is not only the price of these products have gone up, the availability has gone down," said Moran.

Moran said he will do everything possible to keep his restaurant affordable for families.

"Takes food to sell food, but it still hurts. We’re doing what we can. I don’t want to skimp on portions. We’ve been known for big portions, feeding you a lunch and a midnight snack, you know, but we’re revamping a lot of things. We have to do what’s best for us and of course the customer," said Moran.

The restaurant is also hiring employees. For more information visit: