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Chophouse, More Deal with Drought's High Food Costs

Restaurant overheads and menu prices are on the rise due to historically high corn costs. "We chose to raise our prices," Matt Banker, director of operations for Chophouse told City Business, after assessing their other options?cutting portion sizes on prime steaks, or switching to lower-quality steaks?neither of which appealed to them.

Banker said the cost for a pound of prime beef has increased $10 over the past year, but according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Americans haven't seen the worst of high food costs, at home or in restaurants. Costs will increase next year because they will be working off 2012 prices, which are expected to increase by at least 4.5% in stores and 3% in restaurants.

Local establishments will have to think of innovative ways to deal with the situation. Haley Bittermann, corporate executive chef for the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group said she would cut menu items rather than raise prices: "Chefs hate it when I say this, but it takes more talent to cook and come up with creative ideas for cheaper cuts of meat then it does to cook a filet mignon."

· New Orleans Restaurants Wither Under Drought-Driven Higher Costs [CityBus]

Chophouse [Photo: Official Website]


322 Magazine New Orleans, LA 70130

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