CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Local restaurants are starting feel the pinch from high gas prices.
Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop in South End offers sandwiches, pies, chocolate chip cookies and other sweet deals.
“It’s simple, quick and very reasonable,” says diner Bill Hurd.
That’s all part of the appeal.
“To get the customers in the door you’ve got to be value priced – from the standpoint of offering a lot for what they’re going to pay,” says owner Randy Chitwood.
Chitwood has owned Pike’s for over a decade. He says right now, he’s more than a little concerned.
The price at the pump is starting to impact diners at the restaurant.
“I don’t think they [prices] are going down, they’re going to keep going up,” says Hurd.
“I don't eat out as much and if I eat out its more middle of the road, less on the higher end for sure,” says diner Greg Crowe.
“The rising costs of gas, the rising costs of food, it’s going to start putting the pinch on peoples wallets,” says Chitwood. “They're going to start choosing to eat out less.”
He says he is already feeling the impact of gas prices in other ways.
“It starts to impact your food costs, which you only have so much margin,” Chitwood explains.
He’s hoping to avoid passing that cost on to already cash-strapped customers
“I think they're still going to go out, they're just going to look for more value and convenience,” he says.