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Restaurants May Change Menus, Hike Prices in 2009

From Lauren Shepherd of The Associated Press: "Beef may not be what’s for dinner at your favorite restaurant come 2009. Restaurants, now working to secure supply and price contracts for meat and other commodities for the upcoming year, are expecting big increases in food costs - increases that will likely lead to menu changes and price hikes.

Some chains are already adjusting their menus to reflect current high costs for both beef and chicken. CKE Restaurants Inc., which operates the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains, stopped offering Double Cheeseburgers in its 2 for $3 promotion at the end of August and replaced them with Jumbo Chili Dogs and Hot Ham ‘N’ Cheese Sandwiches to avoid selling pricey beef at a lower price. Even fast-food leader McDonald’s Corp. is considering making some changes to its popular dollar menu - either by changing the items on the menu or bumping up prices - saying the cost of selling meat at such low prices might be too high."

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