Gulf Coast Oil Spill May Affect Your Pocketbook

Local Restaurants Scramble to Find Replacement Seafood

The effects of the oil spill down in the gulf are now being felt in North Texas. Fishermen down south are in a holding pattern until the spill can be cleaned up, leaving some local restaurants scrambling to find replacement seafood.

Local restaurant managers said they're staying in constant contact with their gulf coast suppliers for updates.

"Right now they're not quite sure what's going to happen but we're just kind of talking daily and looking ahead and seeing where we're at," said Rick’s Chophouse manager Brad Pyle.

Rick’s Chophouse gets seafood delivered daily. Eighty percent of it is from the gulf, including all of their shrimp. If the price of the shrimp goes up too high, Pyle said they’d have to adjust.

"We’ll need to switch to probably an Indonesian shrimp or something like that, which isn't as high quality as the gulf shrimp,” Pyle said.

This tragedy on the coast is the last thing the restaurant industry needs. Just this year, natural disasters have driven up the price of vegetables by 50 percent. Gas prices are also up, so restaurants must deal with extra fuel surcharges as well.

For now, Rick’s has tried to absorb the price increases and not pass them on to their customers. But there's only so much they can absorb before that cost begins showing up on their menus.

"All costs go up eventually, and we just want to hold steady as long as we can," said Pyle.

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