One of the best things about San Diego is its legendary burrito scene. Known for being inexpensive and filling, meats such as carne asada (sliced skirt steak) and carnitas (pork) are marinated for days before being grilled to perfection for a California burrito or similar.
Now, thanks to soaring prices for meat and beef shortages which made headlines earlier this month, some San Diego taco shops are adding a COVID-19 surcharge due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to NBC 7 San Diego.
Today, more than two months after the coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County, locals have reported finding signs at their local taco shops that alert customers of a rise in the price of California Burritos, as well as Carne Asada Burritos, due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
For instance, last week a sign spotted at a Los Panchos Taco Shop on Waring Road near Zion Avenue in Allied Gardens read, in part: “The COVID-19 situation continues to bring unexpected beef and pork plant closures. This is creating a shortage of product into commerce and therefore protein prices are skyrocketing.”
As a result, that taco shop – on that same sign – had to let customers know that a surcharge of $1.25 is now being charged to all carne asada items, including the California Burrito. -NBC 7
According to the San Diego City Attorney's Office, restaurants are allowed to increase prices during a State of Emergency as long as the surcharge is clearly disclosed prior to purchase, and it's directly linked to an increase in prices incurred by the establishment.
"We understand the catastrophic impact that the pandemic has had on our local restaurants and that they are likely taking on new costs in order safely serve customers," said the City Attorney's office. "We're hopeful that restaurants will continue to clearly disclose any necessary price increases to customers before they place their orders."