Supply shortage impacting Lowcountry restaurants

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Local restaurants are struggling to accommodate a shortage in chicken, beef, and seafood, leading to higher prices for consumers.

“Chicken wings are up over 100% from where they were last year so where we were paying case prices of $70 now we are paying $150 or $160 a week,” says Perry Freeman, Owner of Charleston Sports Pub.

“Sometimes it’s the surprise of not knowing if something will show up on the truck. I mean you don’t know and they don’t know either. You may order a supply and maybe it comes, maybe it doesn’t,” says Freeman.

“Crab meat is $48 a pound right now, which is insane,” says Jeff Diehl, Director of Operations for Charleston Hospitality Group.

Diehl says prices of chicken, beef, and seafood have double and tripled, necessitating menu changes ahead of a busy tourist season. The problem isn’t expected to let up any time soon.

“It’s not going to be until tourist season ends, then we will see this correct itself,” says Diehl.

For now business owners say they are looking for ways to make sure customers can still order their favorite dish right off the menu.

“We’re not making anymore money. We are making less money and we want our guests to get the best product at the best price. Unfortunately, right know we just want people to understand what we have to deal with,” Freeman says.

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