These guys have got a lot on their plate.
Brooklyn restaurateurs and business owners gathered at the Marco Polo Ristorante Tuesday to hash out ways Brooklyn’s mom-and-pops could can stay profitable at a time when rents continue to rise, labor costs are going through he roof, and government regulations are making it nearly impossible to turn a profit.
“It’s getting more and more difficult for restaurants and businesses as a whole to stay solvent here in New York City,” said Kevin Dugan, regional director of the New York State Restaurant Association, which sponsored the event along with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
And restaurateurs need to make sure they have more of a say in the rules they have to follow, said the owner of the popular Carroll Gardens.
“With new regulations and new laws coming out, there’s no intermediary,” said Marco Chirico. “There’s nobody that says ‘Hey listen, before you pass this law, does this law work in your restaurants?’ and half the time, they think they pass, but it doesn’t. So we have to adjust to it and figure out how to make the law work because there’s nobody to discuss the situation with.”
Issues like those are precisely why the Association held the event on Tuesday, according to Dugan.
“The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Restaurant Association can help these businesses face these challenges and do some different things,” he said. “We just wanted to let these folks know that these resources exist.”
Chirico believed that the event helped, but he thinks that there needs to be even more awareness about the plight of mom-and-pos in Brooklyn.
“Small businesses are closing and only big corporations are lasting,” he said. “And there’s nobody really to back us up.”
The association will hold more talks as the year goes on to help the restaurateurs according to Dugan.