A $49 lobster roll? A recent shortage has lobster prices soaring. | The Boston Globe

It’s no shell game: As the price per pound has skyrocketed over the last few months, the costs of lobster dishes on restaurant menus across the city have been off the charts as chefs have been looking to claw back some of the margins.

A combination of lousy weather, international demand, and iced-over Canadian fisheries has created a shortage that has driven whole hard-shell lobster prices to as high as $15 a pound this spring, up from about $8 a pound last year.

For chefs buying pre-shucked lobster meat for their rolls, the price has been hovering at $40 a pound, or about $8 more than a year ago, several said.

Restaurants have had to adjust their menus accordingly, and in some cases chefs are eating much of the difference. And it has many worried as they head into the start of the summer season.

Typical pricing for a lobster roll at North Square Oyster in the North End is around $24, said chef Pierce Boalt Juckett, but he switched to listing “market price” on his menu last week to deal with the rapid fluctuations. For the past few days he’s been charging diners $29, he said, but it costs him about $47 to prepare the rolls, once he factors in preparation and labor costs. “We’re losing money when it skyrockets,” he said. Juckett has been attempting to make up for those losses by selling more side dishes, alcohol, and salads.

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A $49 lobster roll? A recent shortage has lobster prices soaring. – The Boston Globe.