You may have to pay more for your produce - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

You may have to pay more for your produce

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash.—You may be paying more for fresh fruits and vegetables over the next few months.  Restaurants and grocery stores are facing a shortage.

Produce all across the board, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce are all low in stock in Washington.  Typically growers and business owners see a shortage in one or two items each year, but this is the biggest list they've seen in a while.  It is all because of a cold snap in Florida, Texas and Mexico. 

Now customers may have to pay extra for produce, and restaurants may have to come up with alternatives.  Some local business owners say they're taking the hit and paying for more of their food, so they can still offer the same menu.  Other say they are cutting back and will only provide those foods if the customer asks.  The Restaurant Association President says it's a good time for cooks to get creative.

"Can you go with a different kind of salad?  Can you offer a different kind of lettuce?  Can you come up with a creative price?  Can you emphasize the things you aren't struggling with and give customers a chance to try something different and put on a special to put out in front of them?" says Anthony Anton, Restaurant Association President.

The price increase varies.  The shortage is expected to last for the next couple of months.