SEATTLE — Restaurants throughout Washington state are feeling the impacts of a national truck driver shortage.
These restaurants are seeing shortages in food and supplies, which has led price increases due to an increase in demand.
Vance Dingfelder, owner of Dingfelder's Delicatessen in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, is navigating the supply shortage during one of its busiest times of the year. It expects up to 400 orders between the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
"You learn where to go. I haven't been able to find two-ounce portion cups. Everyone's been out of them for weeks now ... I started looking in the unusual places," Dingfelder said.
The restaurant is buying up what it can get when it's available. Dingfelder said a container shortage is having the biggest impact on the business, which is based on takeout orders. He said the restaurant is occasionally running out of food items.
The American Trucking Associations reports trucks transport 70% of all goods across the country. The pandemic added to an industry-wide labor shortage because many drivers retired.
Because of the increase in demand, restaurants are paying more for products. Dingfelder said he needed to increase prices in the spring.
"Every item that I've purchased this year versus last year has increased at least 20 to 25 percent," Dingfelder said.
Numbers released from the Labor Department on Tuesday show the price of consumers goods rose less than expected in the month of August, which could be a sign prices may start to move towards more normal levels.
"Things are going to get better. I know they're going to get better. I have faith," Dingfelder said.