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Restaurants facing ongoing challenges, but local business owners look for silver linings

Hiring, supply chain issues, and costs for doing business are concerns
Restaurants facing ongoing challenges, but local business owners look for silver linings
Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 04, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS — Challenges continue nationwide for the restaurant industry as it tries to rebound from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. News5 takes a look at the state of the industry through the eyes of restaurant owners in the Pikes Peak Region.

Restaurant owners in the Pikes Peak Region say they love what they do and they are working together to find solutions to the challenges that face their businesses, but the reality is it might take awhile to find those answers.

"The problem right now is labor and not only labor, but supplies are going up food costs are going up. Labor costs is a big thing and staffing is our number one issue," said President of Border Burger Bar Todd Dorman.

Despite the challenges Border Burger Bar is facing at multiple locations, leaders of the restaurant believe the hard times will ultimately lead to a better business.

"When the tables are turned and things aren't looking good you've got to really become efficient and really perfect your craft," said Dorman.

At Panino's Restaurants, A.J. Frasca says a positive mindset and team effort is helping his family owned operation succeed, even in this climate.

"Our kind of motto has been gratitude is the attitude. When you can't get pineapples you know, you're like we're still grateful that we can get tomatoes and lettuce all the other things you need to keep it working," said Frasca.

Seeing that other restaurants both locally and across the country aren't making it is a reminder of why he and his staff have to keep working hard every day.

"It's kind of a reality check that it's not easy and we still have a team that is working harder than anybody could imagine," said Frasca.

The National Restaurant Association just released it's state of the industry report laying out real challenges ahead.

More than half of the restaurant operators felt it would be a year or more before things return to normal for them.

Food, labor, and occupancy costs are expected to remain elevated.

96% of operators say in 2021 they dealt with supply delays or shortages and expect issues to continue.

At Panino's Restaurants Frasca says the continued community support is something they couldn't make it without.

"The impact that you've had for our family and our staff has been just awesome. So, I mean if I could say it better I'm not really sure. I just want everyone else to know, what you're doing is making a difference," Frasca told viewers in an interview with News5.

He believes a job in this industry is valuable.

"I think that's the greatest gift in life is to help others and that's something you can learn here and take anywhere in life," said Frasca.