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Expect restaurant menu price to be higher once states open up

The cost of food is surging
Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 8:26 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 11:26:30-04

(KERO) — As restaurants nationwide ramp up to pre-pandemic levels some customers may notice something new on the menu -- higher prices!

The reason?

The cost of food especially beef, pork, and chicken are surging.

One warehouse near Omaha, Nebraska says it had no choice but to add $2 to all chicken and beef items and an extra $3 for steak.

The other reason for the price hikes?

Restaurants and their suppliers are facing a major shortage of workers which is forcing them to pay higher wages to keep and attract staff. Add in higher gas prices causing rising transportation costs and you have a perfect storm.

"If the prices keep going up, we can't continue to eat the costs of it," said Christine Holland of Tired Texan BBQ in Omaha.

"I think the food industry got caught a little flat-footed. They didn't expect this demand from all the restaurants opening from, you know, the customers wanting to barbecue, have graduation parties, and just get together as families again," added Stew Leonard, president of Stew Leonard's Grocery Stores.

On the bright side, some experts say as the economy continues to recover this summer these prices should come down soon.

Meanwhile, delivery services like Door Dash and Uber Eats are looking beyond food to keep growth going. Both companies say deliveries of all sorts of things -- from alcohol to convenience store items -- are growing.

Door Dash says if you do order alcohol you have to be at least 21 and it won't be delivered if employees believe you're intoxicated.

Uber says non-restaurant deliveries were up 70 percent in the first quarter. Door Dash is reporting a 40 percent increase.