JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – For restaurant owners, it’s not just about getting customers back.
“The way I look at it, the customer’s health is my wealth and if they’re not healthy they’re not gonna come and get the food,” Yamato restaurant owner Dan Lam said.
Now, the big challenge is a beef shortage, causing problems on every level.
“I mean the beef packers were shut down and now they can’t keep up with it, there’s a constant flow throughout the supply line and when you break something you call them non-essential, this is what happens,” Purple Cow restaurant owner Brian Benson said.
High demand plus low supply results in soaring prices for consumers, and restaurant owners like Lam.
“It’s insane we’ve never seen anything like that, now we’ve seen it” Lam said.
He says increased beef prices are forcing him to charge an additional dollar on dishes made with beef.
“We’re just trying to balance out the whole situation and hope that the customer will understand what the situation basically you cannot make any money out of it for what you are charging right now,” Lam said.
Business at Purple Cow in Kingsport has been booming, but owner Brian Benson had to make a change too, adding a dollar charge on burgers and two dollars for steak items.
“Packers are at insufficient supply to our demand and the price rose accordingly, and it’s not just beef, it’s pork, beef, cheese, even produce is high, the beef is just a drastic 300% difference so that requires a price adjustment,” Benson said.
He thinks the shortage could last another two months. Until it’s over, restaurants will have to wait.
“Whenever the supply is more then the prices will go down then it’ll be ok to go back to normal,” Lam said.