Increased supply cost for Heartland restaurant owners

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Heartland restaurants are not only having a hard time filling open positions, but also having a hard time stocking their kitchen.

The ongoing pandemic means items like bacon and oil can take weeks to ship.

One Cape Girardeau restaurant owner has even adjusted her menu because of this.

“There was time we couldn’t get chicken wings for almost a month,” said Yolanda Cawthon, owner of Rufus Red Hots.

She said getting her hands on products for her kitchen has been tough.

The wait for items can be weeks and prices have skyrocketed.

“Right now, we’re out of onion rings, we’re out of our chicken strips. Some of our signature items I’ve just removed them from the menu,” said Cawthon.

She said the push in prices and shortage of items does not come as a shock.

Cawthon slightly increased her prices back in June and tries to order enough food to last weeks.

“Chicken wings I’m seeing 2 cases ahead of order, because if I don’t and we run out, at least I have a 2-week leeway,” said Cawthon.

Kevin Grove is the Manager of Harps Food Stores in Jackson.

He said the high demand in products leaves him no choice but to raise the cost.

“They are going to have to pay a little more for them,” said Groves.

He said the number of items is so scarce and the warehouse he receives their shipment from has limited how much they can order.

“They’ve actually put us on allocation, to where we can only order so much stuff so we had to pick and choose what we can get,” said Groves.

Cawthon said issue of supply chain is just a add on to the employment issue.

She hopes to see a change soon.

“This has been a turbulent year. For those who were able to stick around kudos to them, those who’ve been around and unable to kind of make it we understand what you’re going through,” said Cawthon.

Cawthorn says she is partnering up with another local business to help with supply.

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