Beef prices put strain on restaurants, customers

Posted at: 06/13/2013 5:59 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The sizzle of a burger or steak on the grill this father's day will cost you.

Some cuts of beef are priced at historic highs and that means you'll pay more at the store and at restaurants.

In the last month Three Rivers Brewery and Pizzeria in Farmington had to make the tough call to raise prices after three years of absorbing price increases.

Particularly prices on beef.

"So now all of a sudden our piece of pie got this big and now you can imagine what happened to supply and demand when your supply is only this much when it used to be this much. Obviously the price skyrockets,” said owner, Bob Beckley.

The drought has a lot to do with it.  There are fewer cattle because farmers can't afford to feed as many.

As the price of beef has gone up, restaurants are looking for alternative food options that aren't as expensive and that customers can still enjoy.

"Instead of using a top sirloin, or a rib eye, or a filet, maybe they can use a flat iron steak or some other cut of beef that may not be quite as expensive," said Bob Tucker of Shamrock Foods.

Another alternative for restaurants is to offer more pork and chicken dishes, which is most often cheaper to buy.

Three Rivers is trying to cushion the blow of higher prices by offering customers more 'cooking from scratch.'

"We’re doing things I guess back to the old fashioned way a little and that's one of the ways around not paying for the high costs of prepackaged foods, " said Beckley.

It’s this home cooked quality that three rivers hopes its customers can appreciate, even if prices have beefed up.