BENTON, Ark. — While meat processing plants in Arkansas have been impacted by COVID-19, the issue has now reached restaurant owners as they deal with the meat shortage.
The owners of the Burger Shack in downtown Benton are going on two decades of whipping up juicy burgers.
They say they haven’t seen times quite like this.
"It's been a drastic change,” said Luke Mood, owner of the Burger Shack.
The meat supply shortage has continued to increase prices on meat.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Burger Shack was paying $2.30 a pound for beef, now it's gotten up to $5.50 a pound.
"Eating, we’ve been eating the cost. Just basically taking it right out of our profits,” said Moody.
Last week the owners had to give in, now charging customers $1 extra per burger.
Luckily for the burger joint, it has a loyal customer base willing to pay the extra cost.
But not everyone can.
"We just ate there,” said Kevin Spencer. “It was good. If there's a little more to the price, and it's good, you'll pay it."
But even with the $1 increase on the price of burgers, that’s not expected to cover the extra cost for meat that the restaurant buys.
Moody said he goes through about 200 lbs of it in a week.
"I don't think it'll offset the complete cost, but it will help,” said Moody.
For now, the couple thanks their customers, despite having to swipe their card for a little extra and hopes they don't have to make any more adjustments to the menu.
"We literally have the best community down here, and we couldn't ask for better,” said the owners.