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Bismarck restaurant maintains customers’ support despite inflation

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 7:31 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - With decades-high inflation, everything is more expensive. Local businesses have been hit particularly hard. Your News Leader spoke to a restaurant in Bismarck doing its best to serve customers and employees, despite rising costs.

Fresh pizza keeps Bruno’s customers coming back week in and week out.

“It’s my Friday thing, it’s the perfect slice, perfect amount of food and money, so I just come here every Friday. I started uh, since 2014,” said Kevin Gutman, a loyal Bruno’s regular.

But the cost to make a pizza isn’t what it used to be.

“We saw the food increase just with shortages, and then you throw on top of that, freight charges, delivery fees and surcharges. So, we’ve seen a lot of increases throughout the last six months on that and we don’t see that stopping anytime soon,” said Brandon Ralph, owner of Bruno’s pizza.

And with the price of gas over $4 per gallon, the cost to deliver that pizza has skyrocketed, too, and in a profession where a driver pays for their own gas, it can get stressful.

“What can you do? Not much you can do, like I said, I have a Costco membership which helps with paying for the gas,” said Craig Hatzenbuhler, Bruno’s Pizza Manager.

Still, even with the potential for higher prices, as long as Bruno’s keeps making pizzas, loyal customers will keep coming back.

“As long as they keep doing slice of the day, I’ll keep coming here from now until eternity. Eight years is only the beginning,” said Kevin Gutman, Bruno’s customer.

To help keep up the costs of maintaining vehicles, drivers get 100% of delivery fees, which is separate from their tips. Still, Bruno’s has lost several drivers in the past few months, who just couldn’t keep up with rising gas prices.

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