SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Each day, it feels like inflation is getting worse. For restaurant owners, that may mean raising their prices to keep up with the cost of ingredients.

Sanaa Abourezk says the last three years have been tough for her restaurant from the pandemic restrictions and short staffing to now high food prices.

“Especially for small businesses, we don’t have the bargaining chip that big chains have,” Abourezk said. “For example, if McDonald’s orders tomatoes, they get much better price than me because they have all these franchise. For us, we are insignificant in the market so we don’t have bargaining room.”

She says many small restaurant owners are now debating whether to raise the prices of their meals, but that leads to another problem.

“If you raise too much, you might not have enough customers to make you survive,” Abourezk said. “It’s really a big dilemma, I haven’t decided. I have several friends, we all keep texting each other, ‘did you decide, are you raising the price,’ you know.”

For now, she’s getting creative with how she gets her recipes onto plates.

“So I’m using more beans, inexpensive ingredients. I just planted my garden, try to use some from my own garden,” Abourezk said.

And she’s hoping food prices go down before she has to increase her prices as well.

“It’s hard when you’re working so hard but you’re not making money,” Abourezk said. “So, we are right there right now. I mean, I’m not losing money, but I’m not making money. But how long we can sustain this.”