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Effects of meat shortage could soon be seen at restaurants

With meat processing plants across the country having to close down or slow production because of COVID-19 outbreaks there will likely be a shortage of meat.

BOONEVILLE, Ark. — With meat processing plants across the country having to close down or slow production because of COVID-19 outbreaks, there will likely be a shortage of meat, causing the price to increase.

"We don't want to raise our prices, but if things continue to climb dramatically, we'll have to make some decisions," Steve Reid said.

Owner of Reid's Barbecue in Booneville, Steve Reid says their vendor told them that in the next four to six weeks, there could be a shortage of meat.

"The supply chain dries up the prices go up, and we are trying to brace for that. We're trying to let our customers know that this could be coming, and we could be out of some products," he said.

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He says when they first reopened for curb-side, they discounted their menu by 10% to keep customers coming back. This week is the first that they are back to charging their regular prices because they'll probably need that in the coming weeks if the cost of meat goes up.

"We'll either do away with some more expensive products and just do something cheaper, or if they are willing to pay the cost, we'll try to accommodate that as well," he said.

Reid says overall their business is only down 15 to 20% since they've gone to take out only. And luckily, they've been able to keep all their staff who have almost the same amount of hours as before.

Zack Taylor drove more than 30 minutes from Waldron to get Reid's Barbecue for lunch. He's just one of the many loyal customers who are continuing to support Reid's during these tough times.

"The food, it's all good. I've never had anything bad here. It didn't really affect anything because their food is consistently good, so it doesn't matter whether you dine-in or take-out; it's still the same," Taylor said.

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