The pandemic is easing. People are getting out and about a bit more. This has been great news for restaurants everywhere, for instance, Paulsboro, N.J.’s Hometown Deli.

Sales jumped nearly a whopping 50% in the first quarter of 2021.

That amounts to $5,305, or nearly 91 cents from each man, woman and child in Paulsboro, and a very healthy jump from the first quarter of last year, when Hometown sold only $3,577 worth of sandwiches and cold cuts.

Of course, Hometown also had a few expenses, because, as we’ve discussed, Hometown’s not just any deli.

Losses also jumped big-time at deli owner Hometown International, rising to $173,658 for the first three months of this year. That’s about $97,000 more in losses than in the same period last year.

I mean, food services is a notoriously low-margin business, and Hometown Deli is certainly that, with food, beverage and supply costs eating up $5,092, labor another $126, and depreciation and other operating costs a further $1,700, which means that Hometown actually made a $1,613 loss slinging sandwich in the first three months of the year. Of course, that kind of thing tends to get ignored when you’ve got bigger things on your mind.

Those developments include the decision not to renew a $25,000-per-month consulting agreement with a Macao-based entity that is a major investor in Hometown International…. They also include the full repayment to the deli owner of two curious $150,000 loans it made to shell companies closely linked to the father of Hometown International’s chairman and new president, Peter Coker Jr., the 10-Q shows…. The 10-Q filing notes that $120,000 of the $178,963 in operating expenses for the first quarter were chewed up by the consulting agreements Hometown International had with VCH Limited and Tryon Capital.

Which is all good, because we expect a big drop in sales going forward as the people of Paulsboro boycott in solidarity with the high school principal recently fired as Hometown’s CEO.

That $100 million New Jersey deli sold just $5,305 worth of food in first quarter of 2021 [CNBC]

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