Sometimes it seems we just can't get a break. Recently gas prices have been going down but word comes that beef prices have hit an all-time high.
In addition to beef prices, grain prices are also skyrocketing. Anything that is fed grain or comes from grain, such as bread or cereal, continues to rise in price.
It is what you call a real quandary. The cost of beef is at its highest price ever and yet fewer cows are being raised by big producers in places like Texas. The prices of grain are also affecting everything.
Danny Sumrall, owner of The Half Shell restaurant in Memphis and a board member of the Tennessee Restaurant Association, travels to Nashville and Washington, D.C. on a regular basis looking out for the best interests of the hospitality industry. He said those interests are being impacted by the cost of grain.
"We know the grain used to feed the cattle, the chickens and pork, the everything is being used as fuel additives and there is an earmark for that," Sumrall said. "So many of the farmers that are being subsidized are utilizing their subsidy to grow more corn for fuel versus feed."
That's not all. Grain crops have suffered because of extreme weather over the past few years.
"You had some weather issues the droughts the floods and they certainly make it very difficult to keep it going forward," Sumrall said.
The Half Shell restaurant is known for its seafood, but prime steaks have always been a big seller. That is because Sumrall purchases only aged prime meat which costs more with a smaller profit margin.
"Here's the deal: most of the operators I know, we (inspect) the quality of beef that were going buy so we're affected probably a little more dramatically than somebody that shops the market and will reduce the quality or go to different cuts of meat," Sumrall added. "We've all absorbed it up to this point."
So what can you do as a consumer? Well, one restaurant owner advises buying as much as you can right now while the prices are where they are at because they are not going to go any lower.