DENVER (KDVR) — As people from across the nation flock downtown for Stanley Cup events, restaurants deal with another issue: the rising cost of supplies due to high gas prices.

The Colorado Restaurant Association said wholesale food prices are up 18% over the past year, and some ingredients aren’t even available.

Sophia Vidal, general manager of Los Chingones, operated by the Tag Restaurant Group, said Denver restaurants are ready to enjoy increased revenue, but high gas prices are subtracting from the bottom line.

“We’re seeing delivery fees where we’ve never seen them before. Prices of product are going up for things that have to be imported, like liquor,” she said.

Caterers, vendors and restaurant staff are using creativity to keep customers coming back after a rough time during the pandemic.

“It’s just making it harder on the restaurants because we have to balance the cost. We don’t want to necessarily put those price increases that we’re getting from our product onto our guests,” Vidal said.

Tough times continue for restaurant staff

The Colorado Restaurant Association said “the price of eggs has risen more than 200% since may 2021. Add the labor shortage to that picture: eight out of 10 operators tell us that they are understaffed.”

The association encourages customers to be patient with staff, all of whom are working under difficult conditions during the supply shortage and price increase.

While small businesses are hardest hit, large operations, like the Tag Restaurant Group, have deeper pockets, which is an advantage.

“If one of our restaurants is crushing it and another one isn’t doing as well, it’s a little bit easier for us to ride out the storm,” Vidal said.