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Financial Crisis Adds To Restaurant Industry Woes

The president of the Kentucky Restaurant Association says the industry has been reeling from soaring prices for staples and commodities for more than a year, and the continued turbulance in the nation's financial markets is making a bad situation worse.Higher gas prices have driven up food costs, and the KRA's Stacy Roof says restauranteurs are paying about 29 percent more this year for goods such as flour, cheese, poultry and beef."So that coupled with the fact that the public is being scared half to death and being alerted that they need to take their money and be very wise with it, then the restaurants are really feeling it on both ends," Roof said.She says restaurant owners who are not well established typically have a hard time borrowing money under normal circumstances, but the task is even more difficult now because of a tighter credit market.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.