A 74-year-old doughnut shop in Detroit has temporarily shut because of a staff shortage as well as soaring ingredient costs, a report says

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Businesses across the US are struggling to fill their vacancies. Chris Ware/Newsday RM/Getty Images
  • A Detroit doughnut shop has temporarily closed because of staff shortages and rising costs.
  • Dutch Girl Donuts had 15 or more staff on its rota before the pandemic – now it has fewer than 10.
  • The labor crunch has forced other businesses across the US to raise prices or slash opening hours.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A 74-year-old family-owned doughnut shop in Detroit has temporarily shut because of a staff shortage combined with soaring ingredient and delivery costs, according to a report.

Dutch Girl Donuts closed on September 1 and doesn’t have a reopening date. Hanna Timmer Parrow, the daughter of the owners, told The Detroit Free Press that before the pandemic, the bakery would usually have between 15 and 18 staff on its rota. But that’s fallen to 10 or fewer since the pandemic started, she said.

The bakery was open 24 hours a day, six days a week before the pandemic. After the pandemic hit, the store slashed its business hours, partly because of staff shortages and partly to protect staff and customers from COVID-19, Parrow said.

Like other businesses in the US struggling with a labor shortage, Dutch Girl Donuts has boosted wages for remaining staff – and ingredient and delivery costs have also risen, Parrow said.

“We’ve tried to maintain our prices but everything is going up around us,” she said. “We, as a small business, are just trying to do an honest day’s work of producing real doughnuts.”

Alongside staffing difficulties and rising costs, Parrow told The Free Press that her elderly parents’ health problems were another reason Dutch Girl Donuts closed, but that her family hoped to reopen the shop.

“We need to figure out how to hit the reset button and make us more economically sustainable and make the best doughnuts in Detroit,” Parrow said. “We are a mom-and-pop doughnut shop and it’s difficult to maintain when costs go up.”

Business owners have said the labor shortage has strained staff, leaving workers burnt out, exhausted, and working longer hours than usual.

Food businesses, including shops and restaurants, have been hit by rising prices ranging from meat and kale to plastic cups. They’ve also faced slower deliveries and product substitutions because of huge supply-chain disruptions.

One smoothie-bowl chain owner told Insider that supply shortages “keep [him] up at night.”

Other business owners say they’ve been forced to slash opening hours, limit operations, and raise prices.