Volusia businesses make tough choices as supply shortage grows

Cost of products makes profit margins slim.

ORANGE CITY, Fla. – The supply chain issues are affecting more than just your bill at the grocery store. Restaurants are raising prices on their menus to be able to buy supplies, and some businesses are now longer able to afford staying open.

Take Out Charley’s in Orange City was filled with food and laughter just last month. Now it’s empty and the doors are permanently closed.

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“I thought we were doing pretty good, but just the numbers weren’t matching with everything going on lately,” said owner Jennifer Lutz.

Lutz’s family had no choice but to say goodbye to their family business. Her dad opened the restaurant two years ago, but Lutz said he recently got sick.

“He put all his savings into this, so we wanted to make sure we had money to focus on him and our family, and we just couldn’t afford to keep it open anymore with the recent price increases for everything,” she said.

From some products doubling in price to delayed shipments, raising the menu prices wasn’t enough to make ends meet.

“Hopefully one day we’ll be able to do something again. I know all our customers are really hoping for it, so we’ll see,” she said.

It’s a hardship for grocery stores, too.

In Port Orange, Perrine’s owner Trey Renfroe said he hasn’t seen inflation this high in 20 years, and his business platform is affordable prices.

“Last year we were running chicken breast on sale, like 99 cents a pound. Now we’re lucky if we can sell it $1.99 per pound on sale,” he said.

With that comes some unhappy customers but Renfroe said it’s financially hard on the stores too.

“If you see us selling tomatoes at $1.99 a pound, we’re not doing as well as if we were selling them for 99 cents per pound,” he said.

Renfroe said they were planning to make a fourth Perrine’s location in Volusia County. They are leasing a space in Edgewater, but he said because of the supply shortage and labor shortage problems, he’s unsure when they’ll be able to build and open it.

About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.