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What diners can expect at restaurants during holiday season

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 9:01 AM EST
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As you start to dine out with family and friends from Thanksgiving through the New Year, South Florida restaurants are facing a critical time frame.

For some it might make or break their business.

The whole restaurant experience might look and cost a lot different for you this holiday season

Okeechobee Steakhouse owner Ralph Lewis said customers should expect longer wait times for food because of staffing issues.

Menu prices will likely be higher because food prices have skyrocketed.

Lewis also said some takeout boxes and plastics might not be available because of supply chain backup.

Before the steak is cooked on the grill Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach, it's been through a backed-up supply chain.

"When the truck shows up you don't even know if the food's going to be on there," said Lewis.

Those backups have caused food prices to soar and Lewis said the timing couldn't be worse.

"The businesses have shielded customers, but I think between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you're going to really see it show it's ugly face a lot worse," said Lewis.

Lewis breaks it down like this: he's seen food jump up more in the past 10 months than he has the past 74 years.

It's caused a filet mignon dinner to raise by more than $20.

Truck driver shortages, stalled container ships off the California coast and staffing shortages at places that build restaurant equipment are contributing to the problem.

It trickles down to places like Okeechobee Steakhouse.

Lewis is letting diners know he's not the only one raising prices.

"We've seen a lot of price raises right before the holidays which I think is really creating a big sticker shock to the public and awareness to where they thought, well, it's the other guy. But it's really all of us,” said Lewis.

Lewis’s business is currently stocked and ready for Thanksgiving meals.

"We cut about four to six thousand pounds a week of steak."

Lewis keeps postponing his plans to open more restaurants in Palm Beach County because equipment needed like grills are on supply chain backorder.

Another local restaurant opening has been delayed as well.

Corvina Seafood Grill in Boca Raton is delaying its grand opening because of supply chain challenges.

Scripps Only Content 2021