Last winter's storms, which triggered major floods across western Mexico, also destroyed crops, and a plant disease that struck the Mexican state of Colima damaged still more.
The result, the price of limes has shot up dramatically in both Mexico and the U.S. Restaurants in Seattle and New York have reported paying as much as $130 a case for them.Which crate used to sell for $15, pre-crisis. So, with profits squeezed (pun unavoidable);
As the industry waits for the summer crop to lower prices, some restaurants and bars nationwide are pulling lime drinks off their happy hour menus. Others are substituting ingredients like lemons or oranges, said Annika Stensson of the National Restaurant Association.There ought to be a lesson therein for the $15 Now crowd. Or this too;
That's not an option [substitution] at El Coyote, says Wayne Christoffersen, manager of the popular Mexican eatery that's been a fixture with Hollywood's hipster and film industry crowd since opening in 1931.
"People want to see a lime in their margarita, and rightfully so," says Christoffersen, who is paying $80 a case for them. "A margarita's not a margarita without the lime."
"I tell the bartenders, 'Squeeze those limes extra hard. Squeeze out every drop you can.'"Which is what will happen to low-skill workers who keep their jobs after a mandated increase in wages.