ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Local restaurants have battled the pandemic, a worker shortage, and inflation. Now they have a new problem. Restaurant food suppliers and manufacturers have been dealing with rising prices. They say they can’t even get simple items like shipping boxes to get their products out.
Marco Nunez is the owner and manager of La Mexican Tortilla Company. His business has been making and selling tortillas to local restaurants in Albuquerque for more than 90 years, but he says that keeping these restaurants fully stocked has gotten harder due to nationwide shortages.
He says they can’t find cups, food containers, and boxes to send their products. “We have had to change the size of boxes for the wholesale stuff because a certain box wasn’t available so we had to go to a bigger box or a smaller box you know it is what it is, you use whatever you can find,” said Nunez.
Larry Ashby is the owner of Christy Mae’s Restaurant and says the problem is constant. “It just seems to be something different every week. Like right now it’s turkey. Turkey is hard to actually be found from all the different suppliers here in Albuquerque”, says Ashby.
Ashby says that shipping delays are causing lots of local restaurants to alter their menus because they can’t get all of their ingredients. He says right now, chicken is one of the hardest items to find.
In addition to supply chain issues, inflation is also affecting restuarants. The New Mexico Restaurant Association says restaurants have seen an eighteen percent wholesale food price increase since last year.