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A Maine restaurant is cutting opening hours because it can’t get enough ingredients to serve diners. It says it’s ordering 8-ounce burgers and receiving 2-ounce patties.

  • Brady’s Restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, cut opening hours because it can’t get enough food.
  • Its owner said that suppliers are hiking prices and substituting some orders.
  • “You order an 8-ounce patty, they’ll send you a 2,” she said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The owner of Brady’s Restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, says supply shortages have forced it to cut its opening hours.

“Our food supply chains have gotten real sketchy,” owner Jennie Mitchell told Insider.

The restaurant now closes an hour early every day, and closes completely for an extra day each week, too, The Boothbay Register first reported.

Mitchell said that the US labor shortage hadn’t directly hit the restaurant — most of its staff had been there for years — but that it had disrupted supply chains, causing a “ripple effect.”

Read more: These 9 food tech startups are capitalizing on the labor crunch with tools that help franchisees hire or automate the restaurant workforce

Mitchell said that she hadn’t been able to get pineapple juice for around three weeks earlier in the summer, and that some of her orders, such as salad dressing, were still being substituted for other items that were lower quality or different size to what she had ordered.

“Meats, they’re doing stuff like you order an 8-ounce patty, they’ll send you a 2, just to get you product in the door,” she said.

As well as shortages and substitutions, Mitchell said that food prices had gone up across the board, and that beef in particular had “gone through the roof.” In June, beef and veal cost 13.2% more than in February 2020, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“In the food industry it’s just about everything,” Mitchell said, discussing rising prices. “It rotates, you never know what it’s gonna be.”

As a result, restaurants across the US have been raising their menu prices. The owner of Manville Pizza in Manville, New Jersey, told Insider that he’d had to raise menu prices for chicken wings by more than 50%.

“Ultimately it’s got to go on to the consumer,” Mitchell said.

The supply chain disruption comes as tourists are returning in droves.

“We haven’t seen crowds like this in Boothbay Harbor since 1976” during the bicentennial, Mitchell said. “You can’t get a hotel room in this town.”

Brady's Restaurant in Maine is full with diners

Mitchell said Boothbay Harbor hadn’t been so busy since the bicentennial.

Jennie Mitchell/Brady’s Restaurant


“It’s a good problem to have,” she said, but explained that she had had to adjust Brady’s opening hours to ensure food supply could stretch to meet growing demand.

“I’d rather make people a little upset on the front end” and not seat customers, rather than find out after the diners have ordered that they don’t have enough food, she said.

Brady’s is one of the lucky ones. Three other restaurants in Boothbay Harbor had closed “directly a result of having no staff,” Mitchell said.

A third of former hospitality workers said in a Joblist poll that they wouldn’t return to the industry. Alongside rising food costs, the labor shortage is causing some restaurants to cut opening hours and increase menu prices

Got a story about how your business is responding to the labor and ingredients shortages? Email this report at [email protected]

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