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Expect This Food to Be Way More Expensive at Reopened Restaurants

High prices for this food item could make you pay more for your whole meal when eating out.
Waiter handing menu to customers

The coronavirus turned a lot of things in the restaurant world on their heads. The entire experience of going out to eat looks different now. Your favorite restaurant may be open or reopening soon, but because of high meat prices, your bill could be more than you're used to paying.

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One restaurant owner now has to pay double what she used to for meat, and she's not alone. Liziada Moreno, the owner of Rincon Tropical in Detroit, used to pay about $4 per pound of meat. Since the pandemic started, she now pays between $9 and $10 per pound, she told Eater Detroit. High meat prices mean she had to change the prices of some menu items at her Puerto Rican restaurant before opening the dining room for the first time in months.

"We know our customers and we know they're used to low prices, and we don't want to push them away," Moreno told Eater Detroit. "We're basically still losing a little bit on the profit side [for beef], but we're trying to keep our customers happy."

Meatpacking plants were hit hard by virus outbreaks among workers. This means shortages that drive up prices. Some 40 plants have faced closures ranging from a day to weeks, according to USA Today. Total production is down 36% compared to this time last year. This isn't to say there aren't enough animals, but that the smaller number of workers means packing, processing, and shipping costs more.

Moreno isn't the only restaurant owner forced to make changes because of the high meat prices. Some restaurants are now putting surcharges on customer's bills. Also, you may have noticed the price of beef, pork, chicken, and other meat has gone up at the grocery store for the same reasons at restaurants. Don't want to pay more when eating out or at the grocery? Here are 15 Easy Ways to Transition to a More Plant-Based Diet.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald is a health and food writer and a certified yoga instructor. Read more
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