Some Austin restaurants forced to raise menu prices amid inflation

People are facing significant cost increases at the pump, at the grocery store, and also at some of your favorite Austin restaurants.

Skeeter Miller runs The County Line Bar-B-Q, which has been an Austin staple since 1975. His operating costs have jumped significantly.

"What we pay for brisket has gone up about $1.63 a pound, which doesn't sound like much, but in a year that's about $580,000 in increased costs just on one item. We can't get contracts, because none of our suppliers can guarantee a contract price. They can't guarantee a supply," said Miller.

Miller had to increase menu prices to stay afloat. 

"The barbecue was about $8 for a plate, maybe $15 on the high end, now you're at like $20-$30 in some cases," he said about the new menu prices.

Hoover's restaurant in East Austin said they are dealing with the same thing. The owner tells FOX 7 Austin he is in a Catch-22, and they have since had to add a 20 percent service fee.

"The consumer realizes what's going on because now when they go to the grocery store they see how much it costs to get something," said Miller.

The USDA said the Consumer-Price Index, the tool that measures inflation, is up 8.5 percent from March of last year. "This isn't something that you can just flip a switch and end overnight," said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at Lending Tree.


He said a combination of things got us here, and it may be a while before things return to normal. "Some of it is demand, some of it is involved with the supply chain and some of the weirdness that ended up coming about because of the pandemic," he said.

"The Fed is raising rates, people are trying to do different things to get prices under control but the reality is that these high prices are going to be around for a while," said Schulz.

The County Line Bar-B-Q is not in danger of closing, but restaurant owners are thankful to customers, and hoping customers can tough this period out, with them.

"We still put the same amount on the plate, we still make it from scratch every day, we are not changing that," said Miller.