Global beef prices may be shooting up, but a restaurateur and former Food Network host says social media, not the global meat market, is the most disruptive influence on the restaurant industry.
"Social media has changed the way people eat today," said Willie Degel, founder and CEO of Uncle Jack's Steakhouse and former host of the Food Network's "Restaurant Stakeout."
Degel said "ooey-gooey, cheesy comfort food" and food gimmicks such as "unicorn, the rainbow colors" are changing consumer preferences at restaurants because they're more likely to go viral on social media.
"It wows you, and you're so enticed to it, you're sharing these videos," Degel said Friday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."
Shifting consumer trends and behaviors, especially social media, are forcing restaurant owners to change their tactics and priorities for their businesses. Degel offers free wifi at Uncle Jack's Steakhouses, and says he installed "selfie mirrors" in the bathrooms.
"We just did a bacon-wrapped tomahawk chop," Degel said. "That's crazy. who would eat that? We would have to charge $150, $200 for that steak. But on the internet? It went viral."