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Plaza Midwood restaurant to close as restaurants across the state face challenges of rising costs

The National Restaurant Association said wholesale food prices are up 13.4% in the last 12 months. Labor costs rose 13.2% between January 2021 and 2022.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Plaza Midwood restaurant announced it will be closing for good.

Sister, an all-day European café in that neighborhood, posted on social media that it will shut its doors on July 31.

Sister is the ‘little sister’ restaurant to the popular Soul Gastrolounge.

The restaurant said in its post on social media that it has experienced growth during the last six months but rising food, labor, and rent costs have made it impossible to continue.

This year restaurants across the state are facing challenges of rising food, labor, and operating costs.

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“Worker shortages, you know, can’t get enough workers, can’t find workers to take the many jobs that exist in our industry, and second of all, they’re dealing with increased prices, inflation,” Lynn Minges, president and CEO of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, said.

The National Restaurant Association said wholesale food prices are up 13.4% in the last 12 months, which is the largest 12 month increase in nearly five decades. Labor costs rose 13.2% between January 2021 and 2022.

“The prices that these restaurants are having to absorb is pretty significant,” Minges said. “Many of them operate on a profit margin of about three to five percent, so there’s just not a lot of wiggle room.”

Minges said restaurants are trying not to pass those costs along to customers. Government data from June shows menu prices only rose 7.7% during the last 12 months.

Some restaurants are starting to embrace technology like QR codes and payment options at the table to try to streamline operations and cut down on some costs, Minges added.

Contact Kendall Morris at kmorris2@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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