‘It’s super tough,’ Kennewick restaurant says inflation drives dish prices up

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The proof is in the price at one Kennewick restaurant.

“We have to do that just to stay in business,” Michael Miller said.

And, a couple popular dishes that are no longer on the menu.

“Our salmon and some of the other seafood things — steak was really high,” Miller said.

Owner of Proof Gastropub in Kennewick and Pasco, Michael Miller said they thought just getting through the pandemic, was a challenge in itself.

“It’s super tough, you think you got through the tough part and once doors do open, you’re stuck with higher prices everywhere,” he said.

Miller estimates overall food and beverage costs is carving out over 30 percent of their overall restaurant budget.

“Food overall has gone up like 10 percent to us in the last six months,” he explained.

That means Proof’s menu prices, have to go up.

“Chicken wings is one, fryer oil has all double, tripled — boxes have gone up like three or four times since two years ago,” he said.

That’s if those items are in stock.

Miller said he likes to use one supplier for food, but when it comes to hard goods, they’ve had to enlist multiple sources.

“We’re at the point now where our sales rep is like you should look elsewhere because we might not have this,” he recalled a conversation.

Paying $15 for a pound of wings may be the new reality of eating out at specialty restaurants, in order for the eatery to survive.

“We hope that with our level of presentation service — that justifies the price,” Miller said.

Luckily, price increases hasn’t decreased the customers coming through Proof’s doors.

Miller said he appreciates everyone’s patience as they navigate inflated prices, and those who support the restaurant’s two locations.

“Know that we do care deeply and we’re trying hard, and we want to provide the best food and service in town.” Proof has two locations, one in Kennewick, the other in Pasco.