Restaurants Suffer From High Commodity Prices

Created: 10/16/2012 7:40 PM KSTP.com By: Todd Wilson

Kenneth Jordan is a cook at KEYS restaurant in St. Paul. He says, running a kitchen has gotten expensive. Jordan says, it's gotten so tough they've had to raise prices to cover costs.

"Some of the customers complain but they come back because the fact that the food is good," Jordan said.

He says, they have even passed on serving an item if it is too expensive.

Corn prices are putting the squeeze on Key's and other restaurants by forcing up the cost of meat and poultry. Instead of raising prices, some Minnesota restaurants are offering different cuts of meat, like the flat iron steak.

"It's a little less expensive than sirloin and tenderloin but when prepared well it's really good," Dan McElroy of the Minnesota Restaurant Association said.

Short ribs, skirt steak and flank steak on menus that are also a little less expensive.

Stephanie Shimp is one of the owners of the Blue Plate Restaurant Company who runs restaurants like Edina Grill, Highland Grill and Groveland Tap. She says, they have expanded their choices of vegetables and fish.

"So were into pumpkin pancakes, were into fish and seafood where the markets are more stable," Shimp said.

The National Restaurant Association says, menu prices at U.S. restaurants increased 2.8 percent during the past year ended August 2012.