Long Island Restaurant Week gives needed boost to struggling business owners
Restaurant owners say Long Island Restaurant Week has started to provide a needed boost as inflation, high gas prices and other factors strain business.
Restaurants across Long Island have had to pivot to a new normal since the pandemic hit, but they have recently been faced with other challenges. Michael Abbatiello, the manager of City Cellar in Westbury, says they had to adjust to struggles like recruiting and retaining employees, as well as the rising cost of fuel and delivery.
“In terms of food and beverage and just normal day-to-day items, it’s the largest issue,” Abbatiello says.
The manager says the challenges have pushed them to get creative with their menu and strike a balance between making it affordable for consumers but profitable for them.
Naala Royale-Holder has been the owner of Dunn's River Caribbean Restaurant in Rockville Center for 18 years. She says her biggest challenges are recruiting and retaining staff, and not being able to get certain items.
“You may order a certain amount of food like you do every Monday, and maybe 90% comes, but then the other 10% that didn't get delivered is critical for business, critical to our menu ,” Royale-Holder says.
She says customers are still loyal and she’s thankful that Long Islanders are eager to support local businesses.
Long Island Restaurant Week started Sunday and will continue until May 1.
For a list of participating restaurants, click here.