Missouri BBQ Restaurants Face Soaring Brisket Prices

by Victoria Santiago
(Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Thanks to inflation, prices are up across the board, including food. One BBQ restaurant in Missouri is having to raise its prices to survive.

Bogart’s has been open for 12 years now. Just like other small businesses across the country, they’ve got a loyal customer base that supports them through thick and thin. They even sell out of BBQ almost daily. “We’re blessed, we’re busy from the time we open our doors until we sell out in the afternoon,” said Michael Macchi, the owner and chef at Bogart’s Smoke House.

However, the BBQ restaurant’s customers are starting to notice something: prices going up. But Bogart’s is doing what it can to stop that from happening.

Missouri BBQ Restaurant Tries To Absorb Inflation Costs

“Some of the customers noticed it. It was just a little small increase,” Macchi said. “But as of the first of the year, not only the meat prices go up, the chemical prices are going up, the paper products are going up, the plasticware has gone up, every time you turn around something is going up.”

In fact, the price of brisket has doubled since last year. “Brisket a year ago was probably around $2.36 a pound, and now we’re upward close to $5 a pound,” Macchi explained.

“It’s been a whole new world for us. We’re just trying to learn every day and try to get around it.”

Right now, Fox 2 Now says that a brisket sandwich costs $13.95 at Bogart’s. Competing restaurants Sugarfire and Salt and Smoke are charging $13.00 and $13.99 for the same plate, respectively. These new prices are the highest in years.

Meals would cost even more than they do right now if it weren’t for small businesses trying to absorb the cost. Places like Bogart’s want to make sure that the customer isn’t being charged too much for BBQ. And most of all, they just want to keep everyone happy.

“We don’t want to scare nobody away,” said Macchi. “We don’t want to look like we’re price gauging, which we’re not, but we’d rather them just come back and be happy.”

It’s likely that prices will continue to go up, and Bogart’s plans to keep absorbing the majority of these inflation costs. “You just keep going and hope things are going to get better,” Macchi added.

How Some Are Dealing With Rising Costs

BBQ restaurants are feeling the sting of rising costs. Some BBQ places in Texas have decided to be fully transparent with their customers about these price increases.

For example, Skeeter Miller of The County Line franchise has recently raised the price of one of their dishes by more than $10. The “Big Daddy Platter” used to be $18.99 and is now $32.99. But Miller doesn’t just change up these prices without offering an explanation.

He’s decided to be accountable to customers for these price hikes. He gives the waiters his cell phone number. Then, if a customer complains about rising costs, the waiter gives them Miller’s private number. We can assume he’d explain the situation if called, but he says that he hasn’t heard from any angry customers yet.