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This One Popular Restaurant Food May Cost You Double Now

Think twice before you order your favorite seafood delicacy.
Money bills

If you're looking for a healthy entrée the next time you brave an outing to your favorite restaurant (Ed note: if you are eating out, be sure to see here first), you may want to take a closer look at the price of that freshly caught halibut, branzino, swordfish, salmon, or tuna. According to a new report, the cost of wholesale fresh fish fillets for restaurants has increased a staggering 123 percent since 2019.

Fresh catch aren't the only wholesale items going up in price for restaurants that are eager to reopen and bring back paying customers.

According to data from a restaurant group purchasing organization Buyers Edge, prices-per-case of all proteins have increased between February and May of this year compared to the same period in 2019. In that time frame, reports Restaurant Business Online, restaurants have been hit with these hefty price increases:

  • Standard beef cuts are up 87%
  • Fresh ground beef patties are up 81%
  • Frozen beef patties are up 28%
  • All seafood products are up 50%
  • Frozen fish fillets are up 22%
  • Fresh fish fillets are up 123%
  • Frozen shrimp (21-25 count) are up 22%
  • Chicken breasts are up 23%
  • All standard pork cuts (except bacon) are up 70%

So why the across-the-board price hike? Well, the costs have increased due to food supply chain issues amid the coronavirus pandemic. Since the virus has begun to spread, both meat and seafood processing facilities have been forced to shutter for safety reasons, and limitations on interstate and international shipping—as well as travel restrictions—have all combined to influence the price of wholesale foods, and, as a result, your restaurant bill.

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It's one of many problems your favorite restaurant faces, especially if it's independently-owned. According to a new report from the Independent Restaurant Coalition, as many as 85 percent of independent restaurants could close by the end of the year. In addition to upping prices, restaurants are also considering implementing a coronavirus surcharge to help stay in business.

Given the strict CDC rules restaurants are required to follow—and staff members seeking hazard pay—these are definitely challenging times for restaurant owners. So if you are shocked by the price of your entrée during your next meal out, know that there's a complex web of global forces behind it—and your restaurant owner likely isn't being greedy. And for more advice on dining out, know that Restaurants Are Using This Sneaky Tactic to Get You to Order More Food.


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.

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