WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) – Between rising costs and staffing issues, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) says Wisconsin is one of the hardest hit in the nation – and experts see no end in sight.
According to a survey the WRA sent out last week, 93% of restaurants in Badger State are seeing their operating costs rise and 73% do not have enough staff to meet existing demand.
Meanwhile, three-quarters of companies responding to the survey say they are less profitable today than in any other year of operation.
“We know that in Wisconsin we have a population problem. We have near zero population growth and by 2035 it’s expected to turn negative,” said Kristine Hillmer, president of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. “That is, those who retire or leave, or those who die, they are going to exceed the birth rate and those who come into our market.”
These issues, along with the “everyday problems” facing businesses, are causing many restaurants to feel the pressure of rising menu costs, shortened hours, and doing just about anything they can to stay put. profitable.
However, experts say it’s becoming more of a challenge by the day, and they don’t know what the future holds for many restaurants in central Wisconsin.