KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Brookside Beef and Poultry Company, is now just Brookside Poultry.
“I can't raise prices every week and expect people to pay them,”Charles d'Ablaing, owner of Brookside Poultry, said. "And it kind of hurt, we are putting Brookside Beef on the side burner for a while."
d'Ablaing, who recently made the difficult decision, said he had no choice – it was either raise prices until they were astronomically high, or shut down.
So they opted to shut down their beef operations to still give customers an affordable experience.
“They see it, every time we have to raise prices they notice it," d'Ablaing said, "and that's hard for me because we have to explain to them it went up a dollar a pound, [and] I only raised the price a dollar, typically we'd raise it three dollars but we're absorbing a lot of that."
He called it the perfect storm – a trickle-down effect in not enough labor, a steep demand for products, establishments operating at less capacity because of the pandemic and, now, the market is just trying to catch up.
“We just flipped the lights on and said, 'All right everybody is open, let's go,' and restaurants filled up, which is fantastic," d'Ablaing said, "but then that supply chain starts to break down a little bit.
Still, he said he's hopeful that in the next three to four months the market will level out and beef will be back on the menu at his family owned restaurant.
"I wanted a place where families could go, they could let their kids run wild, they could draw on the walls - I don't care,” d'Ablaing said. “I built this for my kids so they could tear it up, so your kids can tear it up and still get that chef-driven, chef-quality food."
While the response from customers has been overwhelmingly positive and understanding, d'Ablaing said the community has the purchase power to help turn things around.
“Just come out and dine," he said. "If you're not dining with me, dine with somebody else because it is that important."
Brookside Poultry received its first job applicant in months on Tuesday, noting two more positions still are open. They pay between $12 and $20 an hour.