Delivery delays causing problems for restaurants

Aey Allen, owner of The Vine on Dove Street in Norwich which is re-opening after her outside licence

Aey Allen, owner of The Vine Thai pub and restaurant - Credit: Danielle Booden

Price hikes and delivery delays are causing problems for restaurants but owners are confident the city will weather the storm.

Richard Bainbridge, co-owner of Benedicts in St Benedicts Street, said producers are not picking food from the fields and prices of restaurant items including wine have gone up.

He said the six-year-old business was in a sustainable position so it could go on for many more years despite staff members having to isolate because of Covid.

Mr Bainbridge said: "In the early days of the pandemic we re-assessed our business because we could foresee issues from Brexit and Covid."

To survive the situation, staff numbers have decreased from 24 to 15 and the restaurant is serving fewer people per night and fewer lunch covers.

Richard Bainbridge, Benedicts, Norwich

Chef Richard Bainbridge - Credit: Archant

But he added that staff were happier and he was not in a position where he was "panicking" about the state of the business.

"People are spending lots on meals, which is fantastic. Looking at the hospitality businesses in St Benedicts Street, it is becoming that hub and hive it was pre-pandemic.

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"The future is bright for our industry. With other food places opening up, the industry is booming," said Mr Bainbridge.

Liam Salt, 28, supervisor of Moorish Falafel Bar on Lower Goat Lane

Liam Salt, 28, supervisor of Moorish Falafel Bar on Lower Goat Lane - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Liam Salt, supervisor of Moorish Falafel Bar in Lower Goat Lane, said: "We have had a lot of shortages in supplies. I cannot see the issue of supply changing."

He added the main factors in this had been delivery drivers testing positive for coronavirus.

Mr Salt, 28, said the nine-year-old falafel bar was lucky in terms of attracting staff due to Norwich being a university city and praised its "strong customer base".

But the supervisor added some were unhappy with price hikes of dishes.

Aey Allen, owner of The Vine Thai on Dove Street, which opened nearly 13 years ago, said the pingdemic and travel delays for a small number of European workers had caused big problems for her business.

Supplies of beer had also been affected because of driver issues meaning she has had to source her own products.

"It is an uncertain time and I'm a bit stressed out but I'm an optimistic person," she said.



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