Drought forces restaurant prices to rise

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The Midwest drought is hitting restaurants hard across the country.  The price of food is going up, but some restaurants are struggling to keep menu prices the same.

"Costs of goods have gone up as far as corn and meat products. We're maintaining the same prices on our menu," said Daniel Kearns of Restaurant Managing Partner.

Restaurants are eating the costs.  Some are watching their inventory rise more than 10 percent.  The bad news is the food industry says the worst is yet to come.

"The problems are going to start next year, maybe in the spring or early summer," said Tim Mankin, a restaurant owner.

Smaller restaurants are getting hit the hardest.

"It's like a domino effect when a crop goes up. For example, our dish shrimp and grits its made from corn and the price would go up on that," said restaurant owner Cristof Danzi.

Restaurants are doing everything they can to keep customers happy.  Some are reducing portions or considering downsizing staff.  Others are revamping menus.

"I have raised prices selectively on a few items that have had to but we've tried to keep out basic prices the same so we can keep business coming in," said restaurant owner, Tim Mankin.

Analysts expect overall food costs to rise by as much as 20 percent by year's end.

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