Dogs, mowers, barbecues: how inflation hurts these industries

Animal shelters, landscaping companies and barbecue restaurants in Texas have suffered from inflation in various ways. They saw the heaviest blow.

DALLAS – Inflation is hitting many parts of the country in a variety of ways. Prices for gas, food and most other goods and services rose again in May, pushing inflation to a four-decade high.

Consumer prices rose 8.6 percent last month from a year earlier, up 8.3 percent from April, the Labor Department said Friday. The new inflation rate is the largest since December 1981.

When you talk to North Texas business owners, they all explain differently how inflation affects their day-to-day operations.

Rotation of the mower

Mitch McGowan owns Garland’s DOTDIRT Organic Landscapes and has been in the landscape business for over 30 years. His company is 100% organic and is usually ordered 90 days in advance.

“I build fences and decks and patios, attics and outdoor kitchens,” McGowan said. “[Inflation] It affects us a lot. “

McGowan said wages have risen 30-35% in the past year and a half. Most recently, it was a fencing job that cost $ 4,000 more than it did two years ago in May. McGowan said the price of the pipe has risen 30 percent since January. The spraying systems offered by McGowan have increased by about $ 1,000 since November 2021.

McGowan said he needs to apply more signature bonuses to keep enough staff to do all the work.

“And I’m not making any more money,” McGowan said. “I’m still trying to get a job.”

McGowan said his team will have a hard time getting the products and materials needed for the job, including wood, by 2021.

“All my prices this year are good for just one week,” McGowan said. “Before, they were good for a year. I’ve never met, let’s say, over 50, I’ve never seen such inflation.”

McGowan’s customers are also often affected by rising prices. It can be difficult to make phone calls, McGowan said.

“It’s totally difficult because I have to call it ‘OK, 5% or 10% higher,'” McGowan said. “Some understand. Some don’t. Some cancel their projects because the price has to go up so much. It’s not about any labor growth. It’s just materials.”

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Find pets

Founded in 1905, the North Texas Humanitarian Society is the oldest animal welfare organization in the Dallas Fort Worth subway complex. The nonprofit provides services such as pet adoption, low-cost spaying and neutering operations and vaccinations, returning lost pets to their owners, cruelty investigations and humane euthanasia.

The North Texas Humanitarian Society has five pet adoption centers in Tarrant and Kaufman counties, as well as four PetSmart cat adoption centers and a horse and livestock farm in Johnson County.

Cassie Davidson is director of communications, marketing and public relations for the North Texas Humanitarian Society. He said the nonprofit had difficulty obtaining the medicines and supplies needed for the shelters.

“The first thing that comes to mind is the exponential cost of caring for the pets we currently keep and care for,” Davidson said.

From 2021 to 2022, the entry-level salary of a non-profit organization increased by more than 20%. Care tests, cat triple tests and heart worm tests increased by 15-65%. Transportation to non-profit cat shelters and from there, to out-of-farm events and shops has increased by 80%.

Although the prices of virtually all shelter food and supplies have risen, Davidson said cat litter boxes have risen 100% specifically and are hard to find.

“With the increase in supply chain problems, especially our cat litter bins have increased by 100%,” Davidson said. “We’ve adapted to that, we can’t get them. They’re thin choices.”

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As a non-profit organization, the North Texas Humanitarian Society operates on the basis of grants and donations. Davidson said shelters need a lot of resources.

“We have a whole team dedicated to grant funding, and we’re just trying to find as many grants as we can to add when we can and when we can because of inflationary pressures,” he said.

The North Texas Humanitarian Society will host Amon G. Carter Jr. at the Will Rogers Memorial Center on June 11 and 12. The sixth annual MEGA Adoption Event is being held at the Exhibition Hall. The non-profit organization currently has more than 1,200 pets, many of which can be adopted at the event.

Smoked meats

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, based in Dallas, opened its first restaurant in 1941. It currently has more than 550 seats in 44 states and is known for its slow-smoking grill.

According to Dickey’s CEO Laura Dickey, virtually all aspects of the business suffer from inflation.

“Inflation is literally boosted by fuel costs,” Dickey said. “America runs in trucks, doesn’t it? Everything we need and use in a restaurant comes to us by truck.”

Dicky said the cost of chicken increased by 103%, bread by 11.5% and ribs by 50%. It’s a kind of protein brisket that Dicky says is a bit stable.

As for the cost of non-food products and fuel, it is 30-32% more than last year.

“So in the 15-20% margin business, we’ve crossed that line,” Dickey said. “Even when we see these stabilized prices in some products, such as brisket, it is struggling with incredibly high inflation in transportation, freight and labor.”

Dickey’s has eight proteins that are part of the dishes offered by restaurants. Thus, when a protein began to rise in price, Dickey said management and marketing teams were trying to focus on selling and promoting other meats.

“When the price of chicken goes up by 103%, we can focus on our breast,” Dickey said. “When breast or pork is high, we can go back to our chicken wings or artisan sausage. So there’s a little flexibility on our menu, but it’s definitely a difficult task.”

Dickey’s has also had to completely change its marketing calendar this year, as restaurant managers have to pay more attention to their core products and meat because they can’t depend on the supply chain for non-essential products.

Dickey said that at this point in the year, his restaurant will already have three or four limited-time offers. He said his team cut most of it.

“The best plans have gone to the trash, and that’s what’s happening in the commodity market,” Dickey said. “It definitely makes us creative.”

Many of Dickey’s customers are also starting to use more coupons and order day deals. Customers more often take home leftovers to get the most out of their meals.

“We’ve just crossed the breaking point with these high sustainable prices, but we feel it everywhere,” Dickey said. “We love what we do. We love brisket. We’ve been here for 81 years. We’ll withstand the storm. We’ve had so many different presidents, so many different economic challenges, so many different challenges. So we know. We can do it.”

One of the things that surprised Dicky was the fact that the restaurant’s third-party delivery revenue has really increased recently. Dickey said many customers tell his team that they prefer a fixed price with delivery costs rather than refueling at a gas pump.

Dogs, mowers, barbecues: how inflation hurts these industries

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