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Quad Cities restaurants seeing major price hike in basic ingredients

Everything from meat products to potato chips are difficult to get your hands right now.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Restaurants across the country are suffering from supply chain shortage issues, including here in the Quad Cities.

Brew in the Village, in East Davenport, is no stranger to the problem. The pandemic has created labor shortages and shipment delays.

Tracy Cameron is part-time owner of Brew in the Village. She says things have just gotten progressively worse over the past year, even when she didn’t think it was possible.

“It seems like things are getting stuck in the pipeline,” Cameron said. “Every time you think it’s not going to go up again, it goes up a little bit more or you can’t find it.”

She says there’s no consistency to the problem either. Recently it’s been everything from tomatoes, to potato chips, meat, and plastic cups.

“It’s different every week, what I can’t find or what’s not available anymore. Plastic cups, couldn't get them a couple of weeks ago, couldn't find them a month ago. Now they're here. But they cost more. Everything does,”

She says meat products have been on the most consistent increase in price and decrease in availability. Pork is especially difficult to get your hands on right now.

“Pork belly, sometimes pork loin, we smoke it out here and so that's hard to find. It's just a little bit of finding everything. Bacon for us has gone up 30%,” Cameron said. “It's a big number for a restaurant, which has single digit margins. It's 30% increase in costs is huge.”

To make up for what her suppliers have difficulty getting to her, she shops around town to try and find the ingredients she needs. 

Anywhere from HyVee to Sam’s Club, she’s seeing price increases there as well.

“I spend a lot of time running around trying to find obscure things that I can’t get elsewhere,” she said.

It’s a frustrating predicament, one that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon either.

“I feel like we’re the land of the plenty. We have access to everything, it’s surprising to not have access to things that you want,” Cameron said.

Even still the restaurant is doing what it can to avoid passing the costs onto its customers.

“We’ve only done one menu change during the pandemic where we had a slight price increase, but we’re trying," Cameron said. "It’s hard enough out there for everyone.”