High meat prices hitting local businesses hard


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Meat prices continue to soar and it’s causing a problem for people who typically have turkeys, chicken or any other meat with their holiday meals.

Owners of local catering businesses talked about how the price inflation has affected them and what they’re doing to meet the demand for the holidays.

The owners said it’s been a tough year, but they are doing what they can to make ends meet.

Judy Adams, the owner of Catering to You, said she’s doing what she can to prepare for Thanksgiving.

“We’re seeing shortages of items that we’ve always used to prepare our thanksgiving and soon will be our Christmas goodies,” Adams said.

It’s been frustrating for businesses as they prepare for the high demand for the holiday season because everything they need, like poultry and beef, is a little more expensive.

“Shortening and oil is an 86% increase from 2019 to 2021, poultry is a 57% increase, beef and pork is a 34% increase,” Adams said.

Adams gave beef tenderloins being up by $5 as an example.

This increase is causing a ripple effect, forcing Adams to stop taking Thanksgiving and Christmas catering orders.

“We had to adjust that and cut our orders of last Friday, which is a whole week early,” Adams said. “Our customers were having a hard time accepting it.”

They aren’t the only local business seeing this.

“Almost week by week, they just keep going higher and some weeks there are products we just can’t get,” Jeffery Voyles, owner and president of Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkey and Hams, said.

Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkey and Hams has also been struggling with items for the restaurant side of its business. Voyles said they have preordered items like whole turkeys, hams, ribs, chicken and duck.

“You just learn to roll with it, it’s become normal at this point to have items you can’t get, and you try to substitute,” Voyles said.

Meanwhile, Adams said she’s hopeful that things will change for the New Year.

“We’ll get through this because things are certainly better for us this year than they were last year,” Adams said.

Both businesses are asking for customers to be patient with them as they work the holidays.

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