Lincoln family-owned restaurant Agave faces troubles caused by inflation
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Agave Mexican Grill opened in October 2020, and after nearly two years in business, it’s facing turmoil caused by inflation.
Manager Joel Enriquez says it’s getting harder to fill seats, and the restaurant is cutting back to save money.
It has six full-time employees and has had to cut hours by nearly half to save funds.
“I mean, there’s not really much we can do right now,” Enriquez said. “I mean, it’s the people that are coming in or not, you know because I’m doing everything I can to save money here and there.”
The Morales family owns several other restaurants in Lincoln, but Agave’s traction has slowed since summer started.
Enriquez believes that an end to Agave’s problems will come once University of Nebraska-Lincoln students return from summer break.
“We live off of the students,” he said. “Because our dinner times are definitely a lot slower. I don’t see a lot of kids in here anymore.”
Enriquez also said supplies and Agave’s most popular food items, like chicken, are increasingly harder to buy due to inflation.
“We’re from like $75 to $85 a case. Now it’s like $120 … Businesses are struggling with that. I know that for a fact,” said Enriquez.
With a nearly 60 percent increase in food cost, Agave is hoping for changes in the near future.
Enriquez said Agave shouldn’t be counted out so soon, saying the relationship with Lincoln residents is what drives the restaurant.
“Just come on into Agave and try it out if you haven’t, and if you have, well, keep coming,” he said. “We appreciate that.”