Hello fellow Skagwegian,
As we begin to get ready for the first real cruise ship season since the Covid pandemic began, we are all experiencing a lot of big changes in our lives. I am finding that the restaurant industry has drastically changed, some temporary and some perhaps permanent. This industry has been hit harder than most and the blows keep on coming. For us, staffing up for the summer season has always been difficult. It is estimated that anywhere from 10 to 20% of restaurant workers have switched careers during the pandemic, so now it is extremely difficult. As a result, we must pay higher wages to attempt to fill these positions. Inflation has raised our cost of goods almost 12% over the last two years, and our vendors have forecasted this trend to continue throughout the year. Additionally, price fluctuations are resulting in some essential products to sometimes quadruple in price from week to week.
We have always kept the welfare of the town and people of Skagway at the forefront of our decision making. We’ve gone the extra mile to make sure that your favorite dishes are available to you, even though it might not make financial sense on our end. Despite the sharp increases in our cost of food, we did not increase our menu prices for three years, knowing that the people of Skagway couldn’t afford to spend more during these tough times. And, despite the aid that we are so thankful for from the municipality, the Skagway Traditional Council, the State of Alaska and the federal government, we have lost a great deal of money over the last two years keeping people employed and the doors open for our community.
Unfortunately, with so many factors working against us, it means that we have had to make some very difficult decisions about how we can make the Skagway Brewing Company operate this summer. You may notice that our menu will be slimmed down to function with less staff members and eliminate products whose price fluctuates so greatly. Our hours may be reduced and sporadic. And, there will surely be other changes that we have yet to foresee. Please know that we are doing everything that we possibly can to provide our community with the same level of quality food, drink and service that we have in the past. It just may be a little bit before we can do that to the same level as in the past. We will be rolling out a Customer Loyalty Program that will help minimize the effects of our price increases on the community, with details to come soon. I thank you so much for your support over the years, particularly during the pandemic.
Owner, Skagway Brewing Company