POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (WCBS 880) – Businesses on the Jersey Shore are gearing up for Memorial Day weekend, two years after dealing with COVID-19 and staffing shortages.
But now, there's a new setback — inflation.
Tim McCloone, owner of 11 restaurants, including eight on the Shore, said even the slightest increase in food costs has an impact as staffing issues continue to mount.
"Our food cost percentages are up a couple of points, and that may not sound like much to people, but any point that you give up is more pressure," he said.
However, he remains optimistic that they'll have a profitable summer with the pandemic not being as much of a nightmare as it once was.
"Unless there's some surge with the virus again, we're going to have really robust sales this summer," McCloone added.
Toby Wolf, marketing director of Jenkinson's Boardwalk, said the Point Pleasant Beach amusement center is also feeling the impact of inflation.
"We try not to raise prices where we can avoid it, but unfortunately, there are some increases, especially to food," Wolf said.
Though with soaring gas prices, more people may choose to stay closer to home, which Wolf sees as a benefit.
"Last time with the gas prices so high, I think we saw that, you know, people are still going to come out, they still want to do things with their family," she said.
As always, the biggest factor on the boardwalk's economy will be the weather.