Matthew D’Arrigo, vice president of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York Inc., and co-chairman of the Hunts Point Terminal Market, said he thinks foodservice sales aren’t nearly as strong as they were pre-recession.
He said he doesn’t think the restaurant business has fully recovered from 2008.
A Manhattan resident, D’Arrigo said his neighborhood still shows many empty storefronts and in at least one case, a storefront that went out of business two times before reopening.
“The restaurant business is a very difficult business now,” D’Arrigo said. “I just don’t think there are as many people eating out in the metropolitan area as before. It shows. You don’t see a single supermarket or bodega that has gone out of business during that time. So it’s a classic kind of feast or famine for different segments of the industry.”
D’Arrigo said more people are trying to save on their food expenses by doing more supermarket buying.
Alfie Badalamenti, vice president of Coosemans New York Inc., said foodservice business is encouraging for the purveyors.
“This year, it’s a little better for everyone,” he said. “If they’re busy, we’re busy. We started off a little better this year. And prices are higher, so that helps on the margins.”