Businesses Big and Small Are Watching COVID-19 Trends Again – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

From hotels to restaurants and shops, it’s a busy time for the hospitality industry which is simultaneously grappling with a busy holiday season, supply chain issues and the continued spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. .

At Funkytown Donuts, owner Brandon Moors said business was doing much better compared to the same time last year.

“We’ve definitely seen the increase in restaurant orders, things like that. Kind of big orders for the downtown Drover hotel, which was nice. A few last minute orders for companies and things so it went really well, ”Moors said.

Like other companies, Moors said they are getting back on track, but revenues are not quite where they were in 2019 before the pandemic. In their stores, the mask policy for employees remained in place.

“We had planned a bit of a slack in the new year, but with omicron I think we’re going to wait a bit longer,” he said. “As far as we know, we were able to get through COVID pretty much without any employee falling ill in the store. “

Kelsey Erickson Streufert of the Texas Restaurant Association said there was some concern about the impact of the new variant on businesses. Omicron already accounts for 94% of new cases in Texas, experts say.

“I think we’ll see restaurants adapt. They will certainly double these security protocols that have allowed us to get through this pandemic, ”said Erickson Streufert.

Responding to the new variant is only one of the challenges companies face, she added. Staffing and supply chain issues have also been difficult for businesses.

“For example, 91% of our Texas operators report higher labor costs than before the pandemic, 96% report higher food costs. In fact, wholesale food prices are increasing at their fastest rate since 1980, ”she said. “Restaurants are a low-margin business in good times. So when you see these costs really increasing upstream, it’s harder for restaurants to generate profits and rebuild financially over the past couple of years. “

However, she also noted that strong consumer demand was encouraging news.

“We’re finding that more and more restaurants are using the ‘kitchen sink’ approach, where they have a great on-site dining model. They also offer take out and delivery, ”she said. “They really promote the holiday specials in packages, they have catering orders, and they really promote things like gift cards and merchandise.”

For companies like Funkytown Donuts, Moors said they are adapting to supply chain challenges as best they can while encouraging the public to continue to buy locally, if possible.

“Unfortunately, we had to increase the donut costs a little bit just to make it all work,” Moors said. “We buy local, so when you buy local from us, you are also buying from other local businesses. “

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