SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – COVID-19 has created a major disruption in the food supply chain, trickling down to restaurants and the consumer.
A lack in meat supply put pressure on La Juanita to close its doors for two weeks.
“We usually get meat every day and so now we can’t. That’s why we decide to cut the hours. It’s very hard to get the meat, and otherwise, it’s very expensive but we have to get it,” La Juanita owner Christina Bautista said.
She said the price of a pound of meat went from around $3 to now anywhere from $7 to $9 forcing her to increase menu prices.
“It’s very hard for us to increase our prices but we have to do it if we like to stay open,” Bautista said.
The same goes for Tacos El Guero in downtown Sioux City. They said they had to raise some prices just to break even.
“We just do enough to stay open. To remain open,” delivery driver Junior LoveJoy said.
He said they’re now paying triple the amount of money per pound of meat from around $3 to now close to $10.
“It’s unfortunate that that’s what it’s come to but we just do the best that we can in order to be accommodating. It is it’s really outrageous to know how much it is a pound today during this COVID,” LoveJoy added.
He said the price increase is only temporary until things return back to normal.
Senior Vice President for Tyson Foods Hector Gonzalez said he can’t even begin to speculate when that will be.
“I don’t know precisely what it is for prices to go back down. I can tell you as a result to the disruption of the supply chain supply and demand are clearly off balance and that every player in this supply chain is finding themselves struggling,” Gonzalez said.
He said he believes there is ample food supply but said plants will continue to slow or idle its process as needed.
Both restaurants said they don’t plan to keep the prices high but for now its what needs to be done in order to keep the doors open.