To our valued customers,
As a small business we struggle with many difficult decisions: staffing, inventory, and pricing are just a few of the topics that we worry about daily. I want to take a few moments to address these topics and how we are dealing with them.
If you have been in the shop lately, you have witnessed that we are struggling to fully staff our cafe. This is causing longer lines and wait times, and in some cases closing the store early due to staffing issues. I appreciate your patience as we work through this situation. We are not the only ones suffering from this lack of staff, other coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. are also suffering in what is one of the toughest hiring periods I have ever seen. We are interviewing and are hiring just as fast as we can. When we hire and onboard new baristas, it takes time for them to learn the ins and outs of our business. I ask for your patience once again as we train our staff, the learning curve is steeper than you may think.
INVENTORY & PRICING
The transportation and manufacturing industries are still having an effect on product availability. In some instances, we have seen back orders as long as 6 months. We have resorted to changing vendors, changing products, and in some cases, stopped carrying products all together. We continue to monitor our products and will bring products back as they become available.
Pricing is another thing that has become a very difficult subject to attack. We have seen some unprecedented increases in many aspects of our lives that directly affect the cost of products we use every day. In the last 6 months, milk has increased over $1.00/gallon, milk alternatives have seen double-digit increases, plastic cups have increased around 70%/case, paper products have increased over 40%, and shipping prices have gone up 75-100%, all in the same time period. As a small business, we cannot absorb all of these price increases; we too must increase our prices. This is not an easy decision; however, it’s a mandatory action we must take. We aren’t the only ones adjusting prices, we monitor the large chains and other local coffee shops to ensure we remain competitive.
Once again, we ask for your patience as our menu board may not reflect our current prices, we are reprinting these signs to reflect the increases and this will take some time.
I would like to personally thank you all for being so loyal throughout the last three years. I really appreciate all you have done to keep The Lounge Coffee and Tea Bar, your local, neighborhood café.