NAPA (CBS SF) — The COVID pandemic has taken a financial toll on businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, but Napa County has somehow thrived as a local getaway. Until now.
It’s not just people who feel uncomfortable dining out or traveling during the current omicron ramp-up. Businesses are understaffed and some restaurants are not even getting deliveries to serve their customers.
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Erin Escalera, the owner of Red Rock Cafe, describes it as – “Burnout. Exhaustion due to COVID.
Red Rock Cafe opened in 1976 and is a well-known local spot for burgers and BBQ. This week, without notice, one of their suppliers missed a delivery.
“Another meat producer had no meat delivery and just left us hanging,” Escalera said. “If it hadn’t been for the other little guy, I would have been in big trouble.”
It’s a difficult situation that many in the restaurant industry have experienced over the past two weeks.
Mike Casey, co-owner of Dutch Door, is among those trying to weather the storm.
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“Supply chain, distribution and inflation are definitely a headache and difficult for everyone,” he told KPIX.
Dutch Door in downtown Napa serves sandwiches and salads. The cost of doing business has more than tripled in some cases.
“I just ordered compostable salad bowls,” Casey said. “Before it was around 20 cents and now they are over 70 cents.”
Restaurant owners say customers have understood that prices need to be raised.
“But we’re still losing money at this point,” Escalera said. “So it’s hard. It’s really difficult everywhere.
And with sales declining since the new year, many fear it might take a little longer to get back to business as usual.
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Casey has a request for her clients: “Patience is probably key. That’s really the important thing. Many people are getting back to normal. For restaurateurs, it’s been two years of really tough times and it’s not getting any easier.