How the national meat shortage affects Baton Rouge restaurants, butcher shops

Restaurants, butcher shops explain how the national meat shortage will affect Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - First, it was toilet paper, then it was bicycles, now it’s meat.

The coronavirus has lead to temporary shutdowns for national meat suppliers which, in some cases, means less meat for your barbecue. Some local shops explained to WAFB how this will affect your wallet and dining plans.

The meat shortage isn’t as clean-cut as you might think. Some local butchers aren’t feeling the hurt yet.

“We’re still able to get our weekly deliveries back from the slaughterhouse,” said Galen Iverstine, owner of Iverstine Farms Butcher.

While some restaurants face challenges.

“This week we ordered 10 cases of brisket. All told, we got shipped one?” said Stephen Hightower, the managing partner for City Hospitality Group.

Hightower manages popular dining spots, like City Pork.

And while pork is in the name, they’re having a hard time getting pork in the door.

“City Pork is going to be called City Fish, I don’t know,” he said.

Hightower said the shortage has made it difficult to fulfill customer menu favorites. He believed workers don’t want to or are afraid to return to the meat plants, which means items might be a bit more expensive for you.

The sad thing is our consumer is just going to have to understand that the price of some of these items when we’re able to get them, it’s going up,” said Hightower.

He promised culinary creativity for his restaurants’ customers while the meat shortage is an obstacle. As for cooking up a rib-eye, New York strip or filet at home, Iverstine said those are the cuts that may be hardest to find.

There are particular things we are running out of just because as things are running out at grocery stores, people are turning to local butchers,” he said.

If you can’t get the exact cut you want, turn to chuck roast, ground beef, or even the frozen meat aisle. Iverstine thinks you’ll probably have better luck there. He’s also seen an increased demand for his shop and locally sourced plant. However, he doesn’t want you panic-buying.

“There is meat available. You just have to be a little bit more flexible with your cooking methods and recipes, things like that,” he said.

And if you buy locally, Iverstine’s shop holds true to its prices right now.

“Our prices haven’t changed. We’re holding down…our prices are the same before all of this,” said Iverstine.

The meat shortage is a different story depending on where you go. Overall, these local spots just ask for your patience.

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