Lettuce shortage a headache for restaurants

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A nationwide lettuce shortage is putting a new strain on restaurant owners, and the short supply and rising costs may continue for a few more weeks. The trouble comes from a tough growing season in Salinas, California, where lettuce is sourced at this time of year. But there is hope that conditions will improve when the growing season soon shifts to Arizona. “It’s a very hard time for us to get the lettuce,” said Winn Nguyen, a restauranteur who has locations in Indianola and Norwalk. “It doesn’t matter which company you buy from.”To keep his salad bar open at Winn’s Pizza & Steakhouse, he’s been going to the local Fareway to buy lettuce himself.”This has been tough. Lettuce is at an all-time high,” said Bob Harper, vice of procurement Loffredo Fresh Foods. “The market price yesterday on lettuce was the highest it’s ever been.”Some suppliers and restaurants have been substituting other greens for their typical offerings.But the outlook is expected to improve when lettuce from Arizona is ready in a week or two.

A nationwide lettuce shortage is putting a new strain on restaurant owners, and the short supply and rising costs may continue for a few more weeks.

The trouble comes from a tough growing season in Salinas, California, where lettuce is sourced at this time of year. But there is hope that conditions will improve when the growing season soon shifts to Arizona.

“It’s a very hard time for us to get the lettuce,” said Winn Nguyen, a restauranteur who has locations in Indianola and Norwalk. “It doesn’t matter which company you buy from.”

To keep his salad bar open at Winn’s Pizza & Steakhouse, he’s been going to the local Fareway to buy lettuce himself.

“This has been tough. Lettuce is at an all-time high,” said Bob Harper, vice of procurement Loffredo Fresh Foods. “The market price yesterday on lettuce was the highest it’s ever been.”

Some suppliers and restaurants have been substituting other greens for their typical offerings.

But the outlook is expected to improve when lettuce from Arizona is ready in a week or two.