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Skyrocketing meat prices hurts restaurants.

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    MOLINE, IL (WQAD) — As the hospitality world begins to re-open, restaurant owners are facing another challenge, the meat you eat could cost you more.

Like clockwork Virginia Castro, the owner of El Mariachi restaurant in Moline could count on her regular customers to fill tables. Given the green light to re-open for curbside and outside dining only.

“Our business was already low because of the closing. Then the prices go up so high, it’s hard to keep our prices down, without losing money,” says Virginia.

Skyrocketing meat prices during the pandemic is seeing the price of standard beef cuts rise to 87%, according to market analysts.

“The prices have almost tripled in the last two-three months.”

A Mexican restaurant, 80% of the dishes use meat.

“We use a lot of meat here.”

Virginia says, “It was costing us more to make the meal than to sell it.”

Dan Haskins Cattleman’s Meat Market in East Moline says beef prices, in particular, are making headwinds.

“At the end of March a boxed item of a certain cut was $3 a pound, it went up to $6-7 a pound,” he says.

A butcher for more than 30 years, he says the price hike is due to supply and demand.

“Packing houses being shut down because of COVID, that stops the production right there.”

He says customers won’t see a drastic drop in prices.

“May not be normal, normal but close to normal in a couple of months. They are slowly creeping down.”

Under the state’s reopening plan, the soonest Illinois restaurants could begin indoor dining is at the end of the month.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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