CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Restaurant and grocery store owners have said supply chain issues have struck again as they’re trying to find ways around the high prices for turkey and other thanksgiving dishes this year.
“They’re ridiculous," said Eduardo Vasquez, owner of Mesquite House BBQ. "They’re high. But people still want to eat.”
Some local restaurants, like Mesquite House BBQ and Comanche Cafe, are offering a variation of a thanksgiving meal weekly leading up to and on Thanksgiving.
Looking at prices from last year, local restaurants are seeing turkey prices have jumped up.
“We do most of our meats and smoke them in house," Ricci Neer said, owner of Comanche Cafe. "But the ones that are already prepared, I've seen a significant price jump. For instance, I believe last year at this time a deli turkey that were already prepared and roasted were about $6 to $7 a pound, a high quality one. And now they’re running $10 to $11 a pound.”
It’s not just the meat, but other packaged foods as well. It’s forcing these owners to make adjustments.
“We know the prices of meat have changed especially for beef," Vasquez said. "You know, they’re skyrocketing. So, our prices too have to change at the same time.”
"I would think that turkey would always be relatively inexpensive, but I know that there's a lot more behind the scenes with the processing and the staffing and the shortages that I think are causing a little bit of a crunch,"
These owners said it boils down to staffing shortages with wholesalers along with transportation issues.
Because of this, the owner of QC Market has made the decision to not sell turkeys this year because he can’t compete with the prices that larger retailers can sell at. He’s never had to do this before.
“H-E-B and Walmart selling at 89 cents per pound," Pritesh Patl said, owner of QC Market. "And we are getting it $1.60, $1.70, it’s also we have to buy in the bulk. And if we put the marginal on top, it's over $2, then we cannot sell it at that price. And we don’t want to come to face that people are thinking we are doing price gouging, but it’s not.”
An alternate for your Thanksgiving meal could be a non-traditional meat like chicken, but the restaurant owners said to be careful because some other meat products have gone up as well.
For more tips on how to do Thanksgiving on a budget locally, click here.