The owner of a popular family-owned South Carolina cheesesteak restaurant announced that their restaurant will be closing its doors amid risings costs and the labor shortage.
"Throughout my life, I always knew that no matter what happened, Phillys would be there for me," Stefan Castellucci, the owner of Philly's in Summerville said in a Facebook post Saturday. "Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. Due to the rising food costs, inflation, and worker shortages, MONDAY OCTOBER 24TH will be our last day open for business."
The restaurant has been in the Castellucci family for three generations, with his grandfather opening the establishment 32 years ago. It became a unique and authentic place to get the kind of cheesesteaks made famous farther north, with the restaurant importing beef and bread from Philadelphia.
Catellucci said the post was the "hardest thing" he had to write since penning his father's obituary, but the realities of rising inflation and an ongoing labor shortage forced them to make the difficult decision.
"I grew up in this restaurant; it's been a huge part of my life. It's where I learned to work hard," Castellucci said. "It's where I learned to respect the value of someone else's dollar. I was taught that a customer's dollar was sacred and that they should never walk away not getting their money's worth. After my father died last year, my mother and I carried on the family business the best we could, but with everything the last few years has thrown at us, it was just too much for a 'mom-and-pop' restaurant to manage."
Soaring inflation has wreaked havoc on U.S. small businesses, with a Kabbage survey conducted last month finding that 75% of small businesses have reported inflation has been eating into their profits over the last year. Those businesses did not expect things to improve soon, with 56% saying they expect the issue to continue into 2023.
The restaurant plans to have a grand closing and has invited customers to come by for 25% off every item.
"We hope to see you one last time," Castellucci said.