INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Navigating the COVID pandemic the last two years has been difficult for everyone, but a nationwide survey by Popmenu suggests there's light at the end of the tunnel for restaurant owners.
"I think restaurant owners and operators actually feel more confident going into this year than they did last year," said Tony Roy, the president and co-founder of Popmenu. "Roughly 2/3 of restaurants are at or exceeded pre-COVID levels, and that's up from 55% in June."
Roy said he believes the pandemic forced many restauranteurs to remodel their business plans. Owner of Inglewood's Martin's Cocina y Cantina Christian Martin said they're seeing even more of an increase in delivery and order-out service apps and expect that to continue into the new year.
"From Uber Eats, DoorDash and GrubHub, I think that people are still choosing that as an option," said Martin. "We thought that after COVID that number was going to drop down but it hasn't stayed the same, it's actually grown."
One challenge everyone has to face is inflation. The price of almost everything has increased, including food.
"Everything has gone up. The food has gone up, the food that we have to prepare has gone up, which has forced us to go up, but we try to at least just keep it down as low as we can and continue to just give good service," said Toni Hooks, manager of Inglewood's The Wood Urban Kitchen.
The Popmenu survey also showed restaurant owners are less willing to tolerate bad guest behavior.
"When you think about dealing with COVID or just the overall craziness that we've experienced, inflation all these things make it harder for them to price items," said Roy. "Let's remember that's a really resilient sector that's constantly dealing with change and look, we all should do our best to be better to each other and I think we'll all end up in a better spot."
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