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Meat shortage causes restaurants to run out of product


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    BENNINGTON, Nebraska (KETV) — Some restaurants are running out of products and raising menu prices as a meat shortage dramatically increases the price of chicken, beef and pork.

At the Warehouse Grille and Drinkery in Bennington, owner Jill Nelson said she noticed the uptick in meat prices over the last six to eight weeks.

“We just absorbed it all, tried to think of ways to cut expenses on other areas that we could,” she said.

Now, Nelson said some products just aren’t available. The grill has been serving jumbo bone-in chicken wings since it opened 12 years ago, but because of the shortage, that’s no longer a current option.

She also said meat prices are worse now compared to last year’s shortage.

“We are seeing our chicken prices, they’re more than double what they normally are,” said Nelson. “We were paying $1 or $1.10 for a 40-pound chicken case, it’s now $2.25.”

On Wednesday, the restaurant decided to temporarily raise their menu prices, adding $2 more on all chicken and beef items and an additional $3 on hand-cut Angus steaks.

“That’s not even getting us close to where we need to be, but it’ll be helpful,” she said.

At the Tired Texan BBQ near 108th and L, owner Christine Holland said they haven’t raised their prices, but there’s a possibility they might have to.

“If the prices keep going up, we can’t continue to eat the costs of it,” she said.

She said the hardest items to get are brisket and ribs.

“I mean we’re out of ribs already today because we sold out of them,” she said.

Luckily, her meat suppliers are still able to deliver the pork but not from the same sources as before.

“We are trying to get them in any form we can because that’s one of the things our customers love the most are our ribs,” Holland said.

Neither Holland nor Nelson know exactly why prices are high. They said it could be because of a labor shortage in processing plants or because farmers didn’t raise enough animals for this year.

They’re asking customers to be supportive and understanding if menu items are pricier or if they run out of product.

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