NEW YORK — There’s a new challenge for some New York City restaurants: The demand for food and supplies is often outweighing the production and staffing needed.

It’s created what’s called a supply chain shortage. Some business owners like James Mallios are calling on Congress for more federal funding to help them stay afloat.

“There’s a monstrous reckoning coming,” Mallios said.

What You Need To Know

  • Restaurants are asking Congress for more funding to help stay afloat as they see a spike in prices caused by shortages

  • Advocacy group says 60% of NYC restaurants did not get funding from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, an economic relief program

  • NYC restaurant says customers will choose to stay home rather than dine at local eateries, which will lead to small businesses closing

Although the USDA says there are no food shortages, some of the largest food distributors are reportedly having trouble fulfilling orders due to a labor shortage.

Mallios said he’s seeing the impacts of the labor shortage first hand.

“My biggest fear is that people become impatient and lose understanding,” Mallios said.

Mallios owns Amali on the Upper East Side. He said he’s paying up to 30% more in costs for some of his orders.

He believes this is also connected to the shortage. That’s something the restaurateur and NYC Hospitality Alliance’s Executive Director Andrew Rigie say could force already struggling eateries to close.

“We’ve already lost a lot of restaurants. So many more are hoping the federal government will step in and replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund,” Rigie said.

The executive director has called on Congress to add money to the fund. It promised businesses grant money to help recoup pandemic-related losses. 

Rigie said the program wasn’t properly funded.

“Sixty percent of New York restaurants that applied were shut out because the money was exhausted,” Rigie said.

The U.S. Small Business Administration said more than 100,000 restaurants nationwide were given grant money.

“Refund that program so that we can get through these next few years of a disastrous supply chain situation,” Mallios said. “People will decide it’s just not worth it anymore. They can’t keep struggling with the odds they’re facing.”