LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- Restaurants across Acadiana are starting to increase their menu prices in order to stay in business.
“If there is an item that's going to be removed from our menu is going to be chicken, and it continues to go up because at this point, they're predicting it will be up to 100% by the end of summer,” Tre’Jan Vinson, co-owner of Kitchen on Klinton, said.
According to Vinson, before the pandemic, the average amount he paid for a case of chicken was $75.
“$100 being my all-time high in the last four years like I've never paid over $100 for a case, chicken, now I can't get a case a chicken for under $160,” Vinson said
Sometimes, he has to buy more cases than normal because of high demand.
“I have to order bigger orders when I can, and just, you know, pray I sell it though because if I don't in a timely fashion, you got to throw it away,” he said.
One of the restaurant’s suppliers is Emaco Food Services. Ema Haq, the president of the company, admitted that his company is experiencing a chicken shortage.
“We order 5,000 pounds. We might get 3,200 pounds, if we order 10,000-pound meat, we probably get 6,000 pounds or sometimes we don't even get our order,” Haq said.
It’s causing different pricing every week for a case of chicken.
“For us, we have to change our flyer price every week, sometimes twice a week. You know I never saw the meat prices go up three times a day or five times a day,” Haq said.
He said when he contacted his supplier about the shortage, their response is there is not much they can do.
“They don't have enough people to work on their plants you know we have poultry plants, they said they had 1000 people, they need to work, they may have five 600 people working, so they just cannot meet the demand,” he said.
In the meantime, Vinson advises other restaurants to follow his lead.
“Raise your price or eliminate the item as soon as you can as quickly as you can because it's only getting worse. It's getting worse faster than it's going to get better,” Vinson said.