A lettuce shortage is causing problems all across our country, and Strathmore is feeling the effects. Mike Scott from Mike's Bar and Grill said he's had to pull some salads off of his menu because of how much the prices skyrocketed.
"We've had to limit what we're bringing in, plus we've had to limit what we're offering to guests. Our iceberg lettuce was $240 a case and it normally is $65 a case, so it was literally almost four times the amount.
What's causing this lettuce shortage? A dry, hot growing season in California combined with a virus Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV) that affects plants has led to the “decimated” crops and a “massive shortage” which has caused the current shortages we are seeing. Fortunately for Mike, he's been able to find reasonably priced lettuce locally, although that doesn't change the strain felt by the shortage, and he is not sure how long that option will be available as stock is low in grocery stores as well.
"For the most part we've just went to some of the local grocery stores and we've sourced out some lettuce there which hasn't been overly priced, but we kept it pretty low, we were only buying two to three heads per time."
Mike added the shortage has impacted other types of lettuce as well, since people are scrambling to find whatever lettuce they can, so now those costs are also rising.
While it's disappointing for some that they can't order some salads at Mike's Bar and Grill, he said most customers have been understanding once he explained the situation.
While the shortage has caused headaches internally, as Mike has had to balance rising costs with how much he charges customers, he said customers shouldn't notice a big difference and will largely get the same experience as usual.
"So far I've just been been subbing out to like coleslaw or some other option, so most people haven't really been that that upset and/or it hasn't really affected them."
Mike added prices have been going down a bit, but still remain unbelievably high. Until he sees a return to relatively normal prices, he, along with many other restaurant owners, will have to work with whatever remains of the current stock.
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