Penny pinchers will be forgiven for skipping the shrimp scampi this season.
Prices for shrimp have jumped to a 14-year high in recent months, spurred by a disease thats ravaging the crustaceans population. At Noodles & Co, a chain with locations across the country, it costs 29% more to add the shellfish to pastas this year, and shrimp-heavy dishes at places like the Cheesecake Factory Inc are going up as well.
Restaurant chains, already struggling with shaky US consumer confidence, are taking a profit hit as prices climb. Even worse, the surge is happening during the season of Lent, when eateries rely on seafood to lure Christian diners who abstain from chicken, beef and pork on certain days.
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