May 5, 2014 5:56 PM
At Sol Mexican Grill in Chico, the salsa bar has corn, carrots, jalapenos and even potatoes. But there's one thing you won't find: limes. That's because the price of this fruit has skyrocketed lately--putting many restaurants in a financial squeeze.
“We've seen the price that used to hover around 15 bucks a box currently shoot to about $110 to $120 a case,” Said Geoffrey Akers, Sol Mexican Grill owner. “So that’s a big, big jump from where they used to be.”
And that big jump has forced this restaurant to be much more conservative with their citrus.
“We’re just watching where we’re using them, how we’re using them, and how we’re cutting them,” Akers said. “We’ve just kind of moved to a per request system. So if someone wants to put a fresh lime on their taco, all they have to do is ask.”
While customers now have to ask for a side of limes with their food, some items just would not be the same without them. Drinks like margaritas still get the standard slice without an extra cost.
The reason for this increase in price is pretty simple: low supply and high demand. But exactly how this fruit became so hard to get is a little more complicated.
“It’s kind of a perfect storm,” Akers said. “It’s a combination of some disease, some flooding as well as some drug cartels influence upon the farmers. So not a good situation.”
But Sol Mexican Grill is making the best of this bad situation and says it won't leave their customers with a sour taste or an empty wallet.