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Lee Co. restaurant talks price increase backlash

Video from WALB
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:03 PM EST
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LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - We’re all feeling it when we go to the store or order from a menu — the cost of food has increased.

Locally-owned restaurant owners and their customers are both feeling pressure for costly food and from their families who need food on the table.

A Facebook post was made recently about frustration with prices at Riverfront 2 Bar-B-Q.

Owner Dan Saunders said prices increased three-fold for products like cooking oil and at least two-fold for meat. With prices of ingredients going up, he was forced to increase his prices for the first time in seven years.

The people WALB News 10 spoke with outside the restaurant were surprised about the post.

“And it aggravates me when people go to the grocery store and they see what they pay every day in the grocery store. Some restaurants use what I say is the ‘bottom of the barrel.’ In other words, they try to get by using as cheap as they can. We don’t use an inferior product to try to save money,” said Saunders

Saunders said he worries about people like the one who posted on Facebook giving his company a bad name. However, he said he’s been in the area for 15 years, so he’s built up a good reputation to not be affected too much by harsh criticisms.

The lunch rush for Riverfront 2 Bar-B-Que can be busy according to the owner
The lunch rush for Riverfront 2 Bar-B-Que can be busy according to the owner(WALB)

Saunders said he has to buy in bulk in order to keep prices down, something already stressful when accounting for demand.

One Americus family WALB spoke to said they didn’t even think of the price-to-food amounts.

Other people on Facebook came to Saunders’s defense. One commented: “Love Riverfront Bar-B-Q and Catfish. Our favorite place to eat. They give you too much food for the money. We have never been disappointed.”

Saunders said he’s frustrated when people don’t understand what he goes through when it comes to the recent price increase.

Saunders said his rivals have been telling him to increase his prices so he didn’t have to stress about making money.

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