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Restaurants in Acadiana are experiencing a shortage of menu items due to Hurricane Ida

Many restaurants have been having a hard time getting food items from their distributors.

Posted: Sep 14, 2021 8:41 PM

LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- Many restaurants across Acadiana have been having a hard time getting food items from their distributors.

The reason? Hurricane Ida. Food distributors say there’s been a delay getting supplies ever since the hurricane hit the southeast region.

Shawn Bernard is opening up his new restaurant, Uncle Luck’s Café, this weekend, but he’s having a hard time getting all the items he needs because his supplier doesn’t have it.

“Like cornbread, eggs, you know, things like that that you would get in bulk, you know, they don't have so now you haven't to go to smaller and smaller stores getting, you know 5-10 dozen eggs where you can just get it from, you know your distributors,” Bernard said.

Bernard had to travel outside the hub city since he can’t get the bulk of his menu items from his local distributor.

“I had to go an hour away, different places to be able to get stuff, you know, Alexandria, running to Breaux Bridge, to Carencro, you know, just different places trying to get different things,” he said.

The restaurant owner is now forced to buy food from local grocery stores, which costs more than getting it from his distributor.

“I’m pretty much-buying things at a premium price to just be able to make the boat. When you look on the back end and what it cost to get it, you know, if you don't raise your prices, you're not gonna make a profit,” he said.

According to Ema Haq, the CEO of Emaco Food Distributors, seven days is the wait time for them to get their supplies. This is all because of hurricane Ida.

“I’ve been in the food service almost 38 years. I had a lot of stressful things in the past all these years but. Oh god, this was unbearable,” Haq said.

Things like beef, poultry, bottled drinks, and fresh produce have all been hard to get since the hurricane.

“The entire area of New Orleans has been impacted, especially Mississippi, some of the plants were shut down. Some of those transportation companies they come from the Midwest and east coast, but they can’t come to our areas because a lot of the places been out,” he said.

Haq has been trying his best to accommodate his customers, but he says that the only solution for right now is to alter their menus.

“Let's see if we can substitute some product if you're using ten-inch tortillas, see if you can do it with an eight-inch one,” she said.

According to Emaco, everything should be back to normal by next week.

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