Nationwide labor shortages at food processing plants and transportation companies are causing local restaurants to have food shortages and pay higher prices. "We’ve been here 74 years and we’ve never seen anything like this," said Okeechobee Steakhouse owner Ralph Lewis.
Lewis said there is not a food shortage, but a supply chain problem. "A big part of this comes back to the labor problems, there is a very, very serious labor shortage," he said. Lewis said plants that supply meat and seafood and farmers supplying produce are having trouble hiring workers. And food transportation companies said they are having trouble finding drivers to deliver the food - causing scarcity and price hikes. "Every day we are seeing prices going up from a dollar to ten dollars a pound on some items and others we’re being told you just can’t get them," said Lewis, who had to take crab off his menu along with some type of lobsters. Getting filet mignon has also been difficult.