CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When Glenn Mier looks at the chairs in his restaurant, 'The Angry Marlin', he sees that fewer of them are being filled by customers.
“From one week to the next it’s about a 30 percent, 40 percent drop,” Mier said about his sales.
It’s the end of summer, which means his profits are slowing down due to fewer tourists traveling to Padre Island.
Mier also owns Black Sheep Bistro and The Barrel, both restaurants on The Island, and is the Coastal Bend Restaurant Association president.
He said inflation is driving up prices for food and ingredients like potatoes, oil, and chicken.
“All the basic product staples have gone up 10 to 20 percent but across the board, all the food has gone up,” Mier said.
He’s expecting more customers this Labor Day weekend and said the business also picks up in a few weeks when the locals start coming out more after travelers leave.
He added that when Winter Texans come in October and November, he also sees a spurt in business.
But he said even with more business coming, he’s trying to save his summer profits for the slower months and in case he needs to renovate.
“This year we will probably hold onto it a little bit, much like the people out there because we don’t know what’s going to come around the corner,” Mier said.
Travis Klaus is the owner of K2 Guide Service. He takes people on his boat and teaches them to fish.
He said he sees about a 60 percent drop in customers after the summer season.
“It’s a big change. When summer’s over, you really feel it,” Klaus said.
He said he receives the majority of his customers during the spring and summer months and in the fall and winter, he could go weeks without seeing a single customer.
He added that inflation is driving up the cost it takes to fuel up his boat, saying he spends about $100-$200 on fuel per charter, totaling about $750-$1250 a week.
“The gas prices, they’ve been tough. Some people aren’t going to travel and we’re burning a lot more money in fuel every day(...) It’s been a rough year—it’s been rough,” Klaus said.
Klaus said he usually saves up the money he makes during the summer so it can last him during his slower months, but he said saving is much harder with inflation.
“Most of the time it’s your sole living and if it is, then you go to learn to take it when it comes and put it up and make it last. That’s the hard part,” he said.