If you are a fan of chicken wings, you won’t be very happy after reading this story. They are the latest item to go on the shortage list, and not only is there a massive shortage, if you can buy chicken the wholesale cost has increased 94.72% year-to-date, says the United States Department of Agriculture.
Saddleback BBQ co-owners Matt Gillett and Travis Stoliker knew taking wings off the menu was going to ruffle some feathers so to keep customers from flying the coop they laid out their food costs in a Facebook post. The food cost for one order, including ingredients like spice rubs and sauces, has gone from $4.20 to $6.56. As a result, each basket of wings is now going over the target cost to be profitable, Stoliker said.
Slo’ Bones BBQ in Frankenmuth does a $1 wing special every Wednesday, owner Jim Jones has been holding the line on price increases on his wings. But when prices more than doubled he had to give in and raise his prices to $2 a wing. Restaurants all over Michigan are facing the same dilemma. A popular menu item has once again become scarce or too expensive to be profitable. We’ve seen a lot of shortages since the pandemic hit, but this one hits you right where it hurts, right in the stomach.
Chicken has for years been the most popular meat in the United States and experts and analysts have cited several reasons for the current deficit. Some are related to the coronavirus — pandemic-spurred disruptions in the market and supply chain and an increased demand for a comfort food that is takeout- or delivery-friendly. Others, industry watchers say, include increased competition, volatile feed prices and even the deadly winter storms that swept over the South in February, halting the work of chicken processors.
Hopefully by the end of the year the supply chain for food products and everything else were seeing shortages of will stabilize and pricing will be more reasonable. This pandemic has certainly taught us how to deal with shortages.
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