Continued Drought Fueling Higher Prices at Area Restaurants

Earlier this week, we told you about how the drought is causing  grocery prices to go up.

Now you can also expect to pay more for a meal at restaurants in coming months.

The drought first took a toll on crops and cattle, which which caused higher prices at grocery stores.

Now, the ripple effect has made its way to restaurants where the manager of Luby's Cafeteria says he has no choice but serve up higher prices for many of their items.

Ordering roast beef or a steak at Luby's Cafeteria now costs a little more and managers say you can blame it on the  drought that covers much of  the beef and grain belt.

"In the last four weeks, beef prices for us has gone up 50 cents a pound. So, that's more than 20% and it's probably gonna go up that much again in the next four weeks," says Bryan Press, manager at Luby's Cafeteria.

Managers say the cafeteria serves up about 400 pounds of beef each week.

To make up for the increased cos they have raised the price of beef entrees by about 10 cents, but that's not all.

And along with that, milk and cheese and all that's gonna follow.  We're expecting and preparing to raise our prices as we speak.  We started edging things up a bit and we don't know if we've gone up enough," Press explains

Seniors make up a big portion of Luby's customers and man are on fixed incomes.

That's why this Baylor County resident says higher prices on menus have her changing  her dining out habits.

"I had to be here in Wichita so it was convenient for me to eat and it will affect it some.  I'll be more cautious about what I order," says Sue Cooper.

Managers say prices for chicken, pork and produce are holding pretty steady, unlike beef, which Texomans love for dinner and lunch.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects food prices to rise up to 3.5 percent this year over last year.

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