If you're dining out again, expect some changes. Melissa Stewart of the Greater Houston Chapter of the Texas Restaurant Association says there is now a big demand for restaurant meals from diners who are ready to eat out again. Dining out is great -- but it REALLY has changed. Menus have changed, prices are higher, and you might wait longer for a table. Stewart says, "Texas has not only 'opened back up' - but the pent-up demand is HUGE! Sadly, we have fewer supplies for some things - and a bigger demand for them." The weather influenced supply issues. "A ton of bad rain and some weird weather happening along the coast is affecting our supply of oysters this year. When we had that major freeze in February, it caused the death of a big supply of livestock - especially chicken. So all-of-a-sudden, that supply chain has been affected."
Stewart says, "When we were going through the Covid Lockdown, there was a lot of uncertainty about when we were going to open restaurants again. We did see some of our farming vendors hold back on planting because they weren't certain if there would be demand for their products, so to limit their risk, they did not plan to to grow the same level of crop."
Prices of all types of meats are rising, along with some seafood and fresh fruits and vegetables. Smart restauranteurs are adjusting their menus, and are glad their wine lists are long enough to satisfy the crowds.
But it's still great to get out, have a good meal, and not do the dishes.
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