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Lansing-area restaurants experience inflation due to nationwide food shortage

Old Nation Brewing Co.
Posted at 1:57 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 13:57:02-04

LANSING, Mich. — Lansing-area restaurants are feeling the pinch from the nationwide food shortage.

"I have had a couple of instances where it was extremely hard to find, you know, some of my items that I use more frequently, such as cream cheese and whatnot," said DeAnna Ray Brown, the owner of Everything Is Cheesecake.

While limitations of certain items are a problem, her biggest challenge is cost. She said prices on products have increased tremendously.

"Back in June, we were paying $33.95, I believe, for 30 dozen of eggs," she said. The price has since doubled.

The co-owner of Saddleback BBQ, Matt Gillett, said they're also feeling the effects of the shortage.

"With some of the shortages, it has become a lot different. Costs has made it somewhat more difficult to get items in our price ranges," he said.

For Old Nation Brewery, it isn't necessarily a food shortage issue, but a supply chain issue that is impacting the cost of food they purchase.

"We'll get for example, lettuce or tomatoes or whatever produce in the amount that we order it. But sometimes the quality of that produce isn't as good as we wanted. So we'll have to throw a fair amount out in order to just keep the stuff that either meets our standards, which increases food cost." said owner Travis Fritts.

David Closs, a supply chain management professor at Michigan State University, explained that the reason for the shortage is because of a supply shortage, not enough people working in food plants, or driving the trucks to deliver food, and shipping containers taking a lot longer than normal to reach the U.S.

All of these elements affects price.

"We're seeing the price increase for certain food because of supply and demand. There's a shortage, and so naturally, the price is going to going to go up. And the demand is still there. But the supply isn't," Closs said.

Closs said he doesn't see this problem going away anytime soon. The effects of the nationwide food shortage could go well into next year.

Restaurant owners said the best thing customers can do, is be patient and understanding.

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