CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – At Los Dos Potrillos, there is no shortage of delicious Mexican cuisine.
“Our menu is gigantic. We have about four menu pages,” said Daniel Ramirez, co-CEO of the family restaurant.
Yet supply chain shortages have some Colorado restaurants in a pickle. Plus, the soaring cost of food is impacting many key ingredients.
“Chicken, of course, has gone up especially with bird flu,” Ramirez told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “It’s not just inflation, but nature itself. And avocados a couple months ago. We’ve seen it all. We’ve seen [costs] come up, we’ve seen it go down.”
CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann interviews Daniel Ramirez inside Los Dos Potrillos. (credit: CBS)
Historic inflation is putting a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth. It hit a 40-year record in March when U.S. consumer prices rose 8.5% from a year ago, according to the Department of Labor. Restaurants are trying to adapt as some whip up different flavor or even change their menus.
“The good thing about it is we’re all restauranteurs,” said Ramirez. “We all have that inner driver in us of ‘Hey, we’re going to figure it out.’”
So far, Ramirez said his family restaurant has figured out ways to keep their 4-page menu the same, like using a variety of food vendors to supply their authentic flavors. And, for now, he said they are not passing down any increased costs to the consumer.
“There’s always that discussion to increase this or increase that,” he explained. “But, if we decide to do that, we’re not going to increase dramatically. Like a percentage or 2%.”
SECTION: Making Ends Meet
Ramirez knows, however, not every restaurant or family business is so lucky.
“It’s concerning, absolutely, for every restauranteur. We either have option A, which is to say, ‘Ah man, this is tough. It’s really difficult.’ Or, option B, ‘Let’s figure it out, find a way and let’s try to make it happen,’” he said.
His advice to “make it happen”? Focus on an ingredient that doesn’t cost anything: kindness to customers.
“Once they come into the door, make them feel at home,” Ramirez said. “Make them feel welcome and everything else and those sales will come.”