Lincolnton restaurant charging 15 percent inflation fee due to rising costs, supply chain issue

The business said the reasoning is because of increased food, labor and shipping costs due to the supply chain struggles
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 11:03 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2021 at 7:44 PM EST
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LINCOLNTON, N.C. (WBTV) - A popular restaurant is now charging an inflation fee as the price of food continues to climb. Court Street Grille in Lincolnton has weathered the pandemic, and now another issue.

The restaurant, like many businesses, has had a challenging time staying afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, many operations are trying to keep going despite a global supply chain issue.

Court Street Grille, in Lincolnton, announced on social media that it has had to implement a 15 percent inflation charge on all receipts.

“Out of necessity during these hard times, we will be implementing a 15 percent inflation charge on all tickets,” the restaurant said.

The business said the reasoning is because of increased food, labor and shipping costs due to the supply chain struggles.

“We hope that these things will turn around and that this charge will just be a temporary solution to allow us to continue to serve you,” Court Street Grille said.

Along with the increase in the inflation charge, many items on the menu have had to be discontinued.

Court Street Grille says, like most restaurants, they are in “survival mode to keep our restaurants afloat.”

“This is not something we wanted to do, please understand it’s a need,” the owners said. “We hope to continue to serve you for many years to come! We are asking for your patience, understanding and kindness.”

As inflation adds to the cost of doing business for all restaurants, Court Street Grill is one of the first to add this fee. So how have customers reacted?

The lunch rush kept things busy, but owner Osama Yousef says higher food costs are cutting into his profits.

“We had the busiest year we’ve had since we’ve been in business, but when it comes to profit, it’s out of the window, it does not exist,” said Yousef.

That’s why he added a 15 percent inflation charge on all tickets, and the customers we talked to have not had a problem with it.

“Well I think it’s a good idea, I mean I want them to stay open, I want them to be successful, they’re a local business, so I’m willing to pay it because they’re good,” said Kim Norris, a restaurant customer.

“It’s understandable with everything that’s going on, I understand why the inflation is there, so when you see it on the ticket it does make a little bit on a difference, but overall with the current state of affairs, it makes sense,” Jackson Blaylock added.

Yousef says on average, food costs have increased by 60 percent across the board, and some items are beyond that mark.

“With the prices we have, we’re not going to last much longer and that’s when we decided to do something and that hopefully carries us through,” said Yousef.

The restaurant says the inflation fee is temporary and will help them stay afloat.

“I know I’m going to upset some people, I know I’m losing business right now, but overall these are the two choices we have, lose some business and continue to stay in business or close it down,” said Yousef.

Most customers understand the reason for it.

“Well, it breaks my heart, but I do understand it and the food is good and therefore I’ll be here as long as I can,” said Ruby Hughes.

The owner would love for things to return to normal soon, but he’s fearful this will go on for a while before prices go down. He believes many of the supply chain and inflation issues are because of worker shortages.

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