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One week, three Tallahassee restaurant closures: how inflation, storm impacts played a part

Posted at 6:43 PM, May 29, 2024
  • Slider's: A Sandwich Revolution, Takko at Market Street and Burrito Boarder all announced they were closing in the last week of May.
  • The owner of Slider's says inflation was a big factor.
  • Watch the video to hear how tornadoes also made an impact.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

High costs, dwindling dollars in customer's pockets and storm impacts have caused more restaurants in our neighborhoods to close up shop.

Slider's: A Sandwich Revolution is a gourmet sandwich shop that closed this week, becoming the forth restaurant in a month to shutter their doors.

One of the owners, Drew McLeod, said his family's restaurant sliders

"… was a dream that my wife and our family had as a legacy build," McLeod said.

He opened it alongside his wife and son to give him a start in the business.

"The independents like myself put their lives, resources, everything they have into it and it's a risk, it's always been a risk," McLeod said.

But now, he said it's an even bigger risk.

"What we're seeing in Tallahassee in particular is you're having a lot more corporate operations come in, squeeze out the little man, the little guy and quite honestly the margins aren't there to compete in the way they were before with the way inflation is," McLeod said.

That's why his family closed the doors to sliders less than a year after opening up in Midtown.

He's not the only one. Takko, a Mexican-Korean fusion, closed their Market Square location Monday. Their owner Greg Marcotte said their Magnolia Drive location will remain open. Burrito Boarder on West Pensacola Street also announced on Facebook they would be closing permanently.

We told you a few weeks ago about City Dogs Cafe shutting down due to impacts from the storm.

Something McLeod said impacted many businesses.

"Food spoilage and loss of revenues aren't covered by insurance when the building isn't significantly damaged so we didn't get a lot of help there," McLeod said.

Some are noticing the trend and trying to get ahead, like Luke Granlund, owner of Island Fin Poke Co.

"That's really what I am trying to grapple with and get a hold on is how do we all get new guests in to our restaurants and eating on a regular basis," Granlund said.

He said he sees many of the same comments on posts about restaurant closures.

"'I've never heard of you, where are you located' and that's what I struggle with too is how do I get the word out," Granlund said.

And McLeod said he hopes the market becomes more friendly for people in the restaurant business.

"We need to get inflation go down," McLeod said. "We need rising cost of insurance to at least plateau, if not come back and we need the prices of the goods we purchase to go down so we can keep prices reasonable."

Experts at Food and Wine magazine say some of the best ways to support locally owned restaurants other than grabbing food include buying gift cards and merchandise as well as sharing their social media posts.