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Paying more for that steak dinner at your favorite restaurant? Here's why

Posted at 11:14 PM, Jul 09, 2020

If you went out to eat lately, you might have paid more for that chicken or steak dinner at your favorite local restaurant.

A few months ago, meat processing plants such as Tyson Foods were forced to shutdown because of COVID-19 outbreaks. It led to widespread meat shortages, causing prices to skyrocket.

Jason Trippett, who is president of J.W Treuth and Sons in Baltimore County, said there's no longer a meat shortage, but he said prices are still up about 25 percent.

At R&R Taqueria in Baltimore, the restaurant has been forced to raise their menu prices because of it. Owner Rodrigo Albarran-Torres said he had to make the change late March and the meat prices are still around 300 percent more than what they were before the pandemic.

“What i did is set a price at where I wasn’t making the profit that i needed to make," he said."I was making enough profit to pay my employees stay open, keep the lights on."

He said meals at his restaurant, including chicken, steak or pork have gone up about a $1.00.

"We're not trying to add price to make up for the losses," Albarran-Torres said.

Trippett said restaurants are increasing their prices because suppliers are charging them more to make up for their own losses during the pandemic.

“There’s reports saying that there will be less than 40 percent of the restaurants that were there are not going to be coming back so you can imagine losing 40 percent of your accounts receivable," he said. "[It's] a big hit to you and bouncing from that is very very difficult."

He said he doesn't think it's going to get better until possibly September, but he added, "it’s hard to tell.”

Albarran-Torres said he doesn’t know what his prices will be in the future. However, he said he’s going to do his best to make sure they don’t break the bank for his customers.

“Everybody is suffering," he said. "We are all in this together. We are just trying to survive, stay open, pay our bills and continue moving forward.”