CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Brooks' Sandwich House says they were forced to raise their prices due to a meat shortage in the country right now.
According to owner David Brooks, the price of meat has more than tripled in recent months.
"Before the pandemic started, I was given $1.90 a pound,” Brooks said. “Now, this morning one of my vendors said $6.58 a pound, so yeah, that's an eye opener."
Brooks' Sandwich House said they had two options: close or raise their prices.
"We have had very unfortunate circumstances in the past six months that have continued to create a challenge and set us back," Brooks' Sandwich House said on its Facebook page. "The only way we can afford to stay open and stay BROOKS STRONG is by raising our prices until the meat prices drop."
Monday afternoon, people still spaced out to form a socially distant line around the block to get one of their famous burgers.
"I would have paid $20 for the burger,” said Ella Campbell. “It didn't matter."
Brooks said the price of a single burger for customers went up 95 cents from $4 to $4.95.
The restaurant closed in December after co-owner Scott Brooks was shot and killed in what police believe was an attempted robbery. It reopened in February, only to close once again in mid-March for COVID-19.
The restaurant opened back up once again on May 4, with new social distancing measures in place.
Brooks said raising the prices was a tough decision, but he had to keep the business going.
“That would have been my brother's wish too, to keep everything going,” Brooks said. “And plus, you know, I've got family that works here, and I've got friends that work here, and I've got a business and a community that supports us so much, so I couldn't say no. You know, we've got to keep going, and so far, so good.”
Brooks said he hopes to see the price of meat come down once the pandemic is over so he can lower prices for customers.
“That would tickle me more than anything, and I’m sure it would my customers,” Brooks said. “I’m just so thankful to have the customer base that I do have.”
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports there are now 1,765 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 26 outbreaks at meat-processing plants in the following North Carolina counties: Bertie, Bladen, Burke, Chatham, Duplin, Hoke, Lee, Lenoir, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Surry, Union, Wayne, Wilkes and Wilson.