MAUMEE, Ohio — What used to be a $10 sandwich at Dale's Bar & Grill in Maumee is now going for $13. In fact, almost every item on the menu has seen a price hike recently.
Owner Bill Anderson said it's all the restaurant can do to fight rising costs caused by inflation.
"To hear from the people in Washington that inflation is up 8%, to me that's a joke," Anderson said. "It might be an average of all products, 8%, but to the products that really count, the products you really need to live on, it has to be more like a 50% increase."
His experience is not an anomaly. The Ohio Restaurant Association released its latest business impact poll Wednesday, revealing how the state's eateries are faring.
According to the report, 34% of restaurants in the state have reported increases of over 15% in their prices. And 40% of owners and operators report supply costs are up 6-10%.
Anderson said everything in his restaurant, from plasticware to cooking oil to meat products are now at the highest prices he's seen in 35 years, and it's starting to affect his bottom line. Anderson said Dale's is likely off 50% in gross margins for the year.
"If they continue I'm going to have to raise prices more, but you're always afraid to raise prices more because you don't know if people might stay home, or if they're going to go somewhere else. Gosh, I'm really sensitive to that," he said.
It's the struggle many local eateries are facing, as restaurants like Balance, Bibibop and Grumpy's also raised their prices to stay afloat.
Grumpy's owner Casey Mulvaney described it as a tightrope walk, a feeling shared by many owners across the state, as 54% of respondents to the ORA poll said they're uncertain about the success of their business. 16% said they are not confident their business will succeed through 2022.
"I don't wish anybody to go out of business, just stay strong," Anderson said. "You gotta do what you gotta do, and if you gotta raise prices to stay in business, then you gotta do it."