CLEVELAND — Inflation has affected so many things, but now sushi restaurants have to make changes due to rising seafood prices.
“A lot of popular items like tuna, scallops and crab that go into the California roll, those items are up 20% to almost 60%,” Sora CEO Alex Di Iorio said.
Seafood features in nearly every sushi roll you can think of at Sora, whether it’s sliced or rolled, but with changing costs across the board, Di Iorio says they’ve had to be creative to ensure quality is not lost.
“We look at the entire dish and think okay, well, what can we do to save money on this dish or make it more valuable?” said DiIorio. “Are we able to make an ingredient substitution that accomplishes the same flavor profile?
They are not alone. Johnathan Ernest, an assistant professor of economics at the Case Western Reserve School of Management, says rising seafood prices are just one component of the national increase.
“A lot of different products have gotten a lot more expensive,” Ernest said, attributing the increases to a broken supply chain, rising gas prices and/or more money in the economy.
“So if we double the number of dollars and we have the same amount of goods, then basically everything will cost twice as much eventually,” Ernest said.
But Ernest thinks that “eventually” won’t be too far away.
“So we shouldn’t expect prices to continue to rise, you know, 10% year over year for a long period of time,” he said.
Companies like Sora keep pushing. Di Iorio says they will continue to provide the same quality for the same price, even as costs increase.
“In the short term, yes, we’re taking a bit of a step back in terms of profit, but that’s for a much bigger game,” he said. “I’d rather make less money selling to more guests than making more money selling to fewer guests.”
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