Some restaurants charging more as food prices soar

Posted at 5:49 AM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 07:12:58-04

CINCINNATI — Groceries are costing more now than they were a year ago, and some restaurants are charging more because of the rise in food costs to make ends meet.

Kristen Bailey is the owner of Sweets and Meats BBQ. She said she doesn't want to raise prices on her menu items, but if she doesn't her business won't last.

"I'm sorry, I used to charge $12 and now I'm charging $15," Bailey said. "I just can't physically do that. I can't afford to do that. I would go out of business."

Part of the reason she had to raise prices was partially because she had to order more food to keep up with increased sales, but the other reason is food, meats in particular, cost more.

"Our food costs typically are roughly around $2500 twice a week," Bailey said. "We get deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays, our bill this week was $4800 just for our Monday delivery... Chicken alone is up 42%."

Because of the increase in costs, the restaurant increased their prices for the first time since they opened. Meal prices rose $2, sandwich prices are up $1 and desserts and sides went up $0.50.

"Our customers were very supportive of that," Bailey said. "They said they were happy to pay the price, they're happy to make the drive to come support us, they see the value we provide. Everything is cooked from scratch using family recipes."

However, there are some menu items that won't be making a return since the cost is just too much.

"We won't even have chicken wings on our menu this year," Bailey said. "The cost is just enormous for a chicken wing, I'd be paying people to eat wings at this point."

Other restaurants are selling chicken wings, but they are considering selling them at "market price" like lobster.

Scotty Berens, the head chef at Deadlow Brewing, said his restaurant goes through about 800 lbs. of wings in a week. He said they haven't raised prices on wings yet, but they will have to soon.

"I hate to compare chicken to lobster, but right now where the prices are going out, that's what you have to do," Berens said. "You raise the price, you put 'market price' on your menu. It's sad that we have to revert to this for chicken wings, but it is what it is."

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