Crab shortage still causing major issues in the restaurant industry
DELMARVA – Places like Adam’s Taphouse and Grille have been struggling with the recent crab shortage. They even went as far as taking off the crab cakes from their menu. Other restaurants say, they’re not even sure when things will get better. “I mean, we’re just getting crushed everywhere,” says Peter Roskovich, Owner of Adams Taphouse and Grille.
It’s summer, and on the Eastern Shore many residents relate this time of year to crab season. Although many restaurants say they’ve been waiting for business to pick up, we’re told the on going crab shortage is still causing some major road bumps for them. “Now restaurants are ordering more product than they need because they don’t know when the next shipment might arrive at their supplier, they also don’t know when the next price point might be,” says John Scheckells with Evolution Brewery.
According to Scheckells at Evo, who also worked in the crab industry for years, these shortages really come down to product availability. He tells us with demand high, and crab supply low, wholesale suppliers and restaurants just can’t keep up. “Most of the waterman that we deal with on some of our properties are really just kind of shrugging their shoulders at this point and they’re not sure what the situation is or what their future holds,” says Scheckells.
Meanwhile, Roskovich made the tough decision to remove a big ticket item from their menu, their crab cakes. The owner tells us, with their major importers like Indonesia and Venezuela unable to supply here in the states because of their own supply and worker shortage issues, things just don’t seem to be looking up. “I’ve never seen anything like this with crab meat, and all supplies for 32 years, it’s never been like that.”
Both restaurants say they have three choices until things change, raise the prices, smaller portions or 86 items off the menu. “Now the supply chain is so broken, it could be years before we get back to normal,” says Roskovich. Scheckells adds, “I don’t know that there really is an end in sight.”
Now those in the restaurant industry say, even though this has been an on going problem, they hope to just wait out the storm until things get better.
Restaurant owners do tell us, they are however thankful they’re able to sell to go alcohol especially during times like these. We’re also told, consumers should be mindful of pricing fluctuations and aware that many items other than crab are also in short supply. They ask for you to call first, to check on pricing and availability.