AUSTIN (KXAN) — Are you willing to pay double for Texas barbecue? With the price of everything going up and drought impacting the state, barbecue lovers have seen a domino effect. Barbecue restaurants in Austin and across Texas are trying to keep up, and menu prices reflect that.
Chef and proprietor at Interstellar BBQ John Bates said when the restaurant first opened, he was paying $2.75 per pound for brisket. Now, on average, he pays close to $5. “We’re seeing this effect where it goes up, and it stabilizes, and then it goes up again, and it stabilizes,” Bates said. “And it becomes like the new norm that this is where the prices are at.”
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Bates said a part of the reason there is such a high cost of meat was because farmers were facing extra challenges. “Farmers are having to deal with expensive fuel costs, expensive corn costs—they’re having to deal with hot weather,” Bates said. “It just makes it difficult for them to get a high-quality product to us without charging their fair rate.”
Bates said high-quality service should be the focus while dealing with inflation and running a small business in Austin.
“When guests come out—and they may have to spend a little more for your food—they leave happy because they’ve been treated really well,” Bates said.