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Iowa restaurants experiencing another hike food items due to bird flu

As egg prices increase, one Iowa restaurant owner details how this is impacting her business.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Restaurant owners in the metro are continuing to deal with the effects of the Avian Flu, that's forced millions of chickens and turkeys to be killed. 

One effect, paying more for eggs. 

Lori Ghosh, the owner of PerKup Cafe, said it's an issue she's dealing with.

Ghosh, who has been the owner of the cafe for over a year, said breakfast food is their number one seller, and eggs make up a majority of the items on their breakfast menu.

"I've noticed a lot have increased," Ghosh said.

The business owner said she noticed the price increase in eggs when the Avian Flu hit Iowa. 

To keep up with demand for her restaurant she buys 15 boxes a week which equals 150 eggs.

She said for her, the cost of eggs from her vendors has gone up nearly 25 percent.

Ghosh said that increase in eggs adds to the list of other food items already going up, and harder for her to find.

Jessica Dunker with Iowa Restaurant Association said this time of the year restaurants is used to egg prices increasing slightly because of demand for Easter. 

But with the killing of so many chickens now leading to less egg supply, it's a different and more costly story.

"And so even shell eggs are outpacing poultry right now from the standpoint of that model between price and availability," Dunker said.

Ghosh said though eggs and other foods are increasing in price, to keep menu prices the same and food stocked, her team is searching farther than before to keep customers happy. 

"With a smaller business of course and a local business, it's harder," Ghosh said.  "With the negative effects, that's something that will last forever as far as people's feelings and wanting them to come back."

Ghosh said though egg prices have increased more, it's not eating into their profits yet, but if things start to increase too much they might consider raising their prices.

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