For Lester Gouvia, chef-owner of the Caribbean restaurant Norma G’s Detroit, business has been a “rollercoaster.”
“We’re starting to see a little bit of a pickup on the weekends,” Gouvia said. “But during the week, we do have some good days, we do still have some bad days. And that’s just something [we] deal with, day to day.”
Gouvia has had to cope with staffing shortages and price increases on his ingredients. For the latter, he’s had to raise prices on some of the most popular menu items. “The pandemic never really went away from a supply perspective.”
One example? Gouvia has struggled to find a certain type of chipotle peppers. “It’s critical to one of our sauces,” he said. “And I did try a different brand. And it wasn’t good. And [I] was just in panic mode.”
Eventually, Gouvia was able to find the peppers he needed, but it wasn’t cheap.
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“Consistently I had to pay extra money for it,” he said. “I think it was worth it, because we kept the consistency.”
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