Lowcountry restaurants say supply chain, staffing problems could impact Thanksgiving dinner

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry restaurants are gearing up, making last minute preparations to host Thanksgiving dinner in just a week. Restaurants say they are facing challenges from supply chain issues and staffing shortages but plan to provide the same Thanksgiving service.

Area Thanksgiving dinner preparations already in the works at restaurants across the area.

“Nah man, just have fun with Thanksgiving,” says Brett McKee, a private chef who plans to cook Thanksgiving dinner for roughly forty people.

Lowcountry restaurants are gearing up but officials say consumers could pay more than double for holiday turkey and all the fixings.

“Everybody has shortage of staff, everybody has supply and demand, raises your price,” says McKee.

“We’ve had challenges, I think everybody understands the challenges,” says Matthew Niessner, Executive Corporate Chef with Hall’s Management Group.

Niessner and Hall’s plans to prepare more than 400 turkeys and all of the sides and desserts needed for a traditional meal as part of it’s to-go dinner program. Niessner says he’s been preparing for months knowing supply chain shortages were likely to impact the holidays.

“So I started two months ago with all of my pre-orders to make sure I locked in my products so I don’t get shorted,” says Niessner.

With products and produce stuck along the supply chain, another issue restaurants say they are working through is having enough staff to plate the dinner.

“Staffing has always been a pretty strong challenge and in our industry, staffing seems to be a challenge everyday,” says Niessner.

McKee says if you do see a higher price to understand it’s not a price gouge but the result of products and produce coming at a higher cost this year.

“As a private chef or as restauranteurs, we can’t absorb the prices so when you get a little bit of sticker shock – understand it’s not us driving the price,” says McKee.

Restaurants are warning of some changes this holiday season but they say they’re doing everything they can to overcome the battle to make sure they can welcome you in.

“Staying ahead of the game, always one move ahead of the next and off we go so it’s great,” says Niessner.

“Have fun, enjoy your family,” says McKee. “Don’t stress out. It’s meant to be a time of giving thanks.”

Officials say if you are planning to eat out to make sure you make a reservation as soon as possible.

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