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'Prices That We've Never Seen Before': Rising Food Costs Hitting Restaurants Hard

BOSTON (CBS) - Have you noticed how much it costs to fill your fridge these days? Some grocery store customers are feeling sticker-shock. "The cost of produce the cost of meat, deli, things that are prepared have gotten more expensive now," said Melanie Kinsley of Franklin.

"They haven't gone up. They've almost doubled," said Nick Rando, who owns Ziti Trattoria in Natick. He compared what he paid back in January to today's prices. "Red meat for steak tips and steak was $7.35 a pound. Last week, it was $13.20 a pound."

It's not just meat. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, cereal and bakery items are up 5%. Fruit and vegetables are up 1%, and dairy products are up .6%.

For businesses buying in bulk, that can hurt when it adds up. "Yea you see it at the register, but when you're buying like 300 pounds a week and all, then it starts to hurt," said Rando. He has to raise prices on his menu to avoid operating at a loss.

"We have seen prices that we've never seen before," said Jim Tselikis, who runs Cousins Maine Lobster, a national chain of lobster roll trucks, along with his sister. "We're just seeing this continuing ramp-up of demand on the lobster system," said Annie Tselikis.

Industry experts blame not only demand, but a shortage of workers, and higher transportation costs driving up prices on just about all food products. "Just a sign of the times, you know prices go up, gas goes up, groceries go up," said grocery store customer Cathy Ross of Framingham.

Experts say they don't know how long the food inflation will last, but as long as it does, we can expect restaurants to pass it on to customers.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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