Let me start by thanking you, our loyal guests and staff of the Route 53 Tavern because without you, we would not have had the success we have experienced. With all the changes and challenges brought on by COVID-19, it was necessary for me to communicate on a more frequent basis, but the frequency of the changes and challenges have greatly diminished, but still exist. Staffing, food supply issues, and all the costs necessary to operate an efficient restaurant remain. The first challenge brought on by COVID-19 was just survival. By May of 2022, 24% of 4,000 restaurants closed in Massachusetts. The Route 53 Tavern endured and the challenge became to preserve the Route 53 Tavern brand, maintain the culture which is the people and the high standards they established and maintained through all the challenges, maintain the quality and consistency of the food the variety of the menu and to maintain the value provided by Route 53 Tavern without compromising quality. I am proud to say, in my opinion, we have met all these challenges but many continue. We are still working on opening on Sundays. This continues to be a staffing issue but we are seeing improvements in achieving the necessary staffing goals. All the costs necessary to operate a restaurant remain high and many continue to rise. Food, liquor, wine, beer, operating costs, and administrative costs have all been impacted. I am sure all of you have had the same experiences in your daily lives.
I have made some decisions that I think will help us preserve not only the brand but also the value. I believe that our bread service has become part of our brand. I first looked at changing the bread but I was unable to find anything that matched the quality of our bread and butter. We will start asking the guests if they want bread service and if desired there will be a charge. Bread service being a loaf of our French boule bread and 2 oz of 100% whipped butter. Bread service will now appear in the appetizer section of the menu. This change will allow us to maintain current menu prices with some items, and in other cases, minimize the necessary increases. As you know, our fresh seafood items have been “market” priced. This has allowed us to raise and lower our prices according to the market. Because of the volatility of the meat market, all beef items will be “market” priced. All market-priced items will be updated when necessary and will appear on the daily lunch and dinner specials page. Menu items that have become part of the Route 53 Tavern brand will now appear under “Signature Disch’s” and that section of the menu will be the same for lunch and dinner. I hope all of you will trust me and believe that I am doing what is necessary to preserve and protect the Route 53 Tavern brand. The Disch Family and the Route 53 Tavern truly appreciate your business and are very grateful for your support and kind words. That is what has got us through all the challenges we have faced.
Thank you and be well,