Insider - Chicken wings are getting much more expensive because farms are struggling to hire staff during a national labor shortage, a Buffalo, New York, restaurant owner told Fox Business Monday.
"The chicken wing farms in America, they're having trouble retaining and recruiting employees," Greg Duell, the co-owner of a Duff's Famous Wings restaurant in Buffalo, New York, told Neil Cavuto.
"When that happens, they can't process the birds fast enough, they have to feed them more, the feed costs have gone up, the birds are getting bigger and they can't process and get them out," he said.
Wing prices from his supplier were up 99%, he said. "They just can't keep up," he added.
Duell owns one of Duff's nine branches.
The labor shortage is hitting industries from hospitality to ride-hailing apps. Meanwhile, demand for dining out is surging as the US economy reopens – leaving restaurants scrambling to keep up.
The CEO of Ohio-based wing chain Roosters told the Dayton Daily News that the prices of chicken wings are at "the highest they have ever been in the 33 years I've been doing this."
A restaurant owner in Virginia told WIVB in April that the cost of chicken drums had tripled since last year.
Costco also said that it was getting harder to keep its rotisserie chicken at $4.99.
It's not just chicken that's getting more expensive: Duell said that the cost of fryer oil had increased more than 120% so far this year, while the owner of a BBQ restaurant in New Hampshire said that the cost of St. Louis Ribs was up 50%.
Yesterday I blogged about Rick Ross' upcoming album.
For those that don't know, Mr. Boss is a major stakeholder in the Wing Stop franchise.
And thus, is also feeling the pain of the chicken wing shortage. So bad so, that Wing Stop is temporarily rebranding its name to Thigh Stop, and serving chicken thighs.
So instead of panicking over sales, Wingstop, a popular chicken wing franchise, is now addressing the wing shortage by pushing more chicken lovers to eat juicy thighs, too. The root of the scarcity is tied to challenges keeping and recruiting employees who must process the birds at a faster rate, according to Greg Duell, who is co-owner of Duff’s Famous Wings.
But CNN reported that Wingstop’s new virtual brand called Thighstop is the Wingstop’s answer to the pandemic-related shortage. Rapper and entrepreneur— Rick Ross— is officially helping to promote the message. Ross is known to be about his business, so it is not surprising to see him pushing an idea to possibly influence fans to give the thighs a try.
Some people are saying that the chicken wing shortage is due to heartthrob Nick Turani's prodigious piece, "The Correct Way To Eat Wings". (It was almost as good as my boy Neil's Chicken Wing Eating Tutorial Blog back in the day. OG's will remember…)
Whatever the reason, it's fuckin madness in the restaurant ordering streets right now. A perfect storm of deadbeats sitting home milking the system on extended benefits from bonehead governors, and people just over the industry and its hardships altogether calling it quits has lead to a labor shortage not seen in generations.
Add to the fact that the supply chain is in fucking shambles across the board and it's not just the food we love to eat that's hard to come by right now, but the means by which it's cooked, and served on as well.
And add to that fact that states have finally reopened and people are enjoying life again full throttle and it's a complete shit show.
Consider this a public service announcement. If you hit your favorite restaurant and notice price increases on your favorite items, don't flip out on your server and head to Yelp to complain like a piece of shit about it. It's fucking rough out there right now.
p.s. - Duffs is legit. The one in Orchard Park is the best one out of the handful I've been to. Gabriel's Gate is also no joke, they have an A+ bar there too.
p.p.s. - People will call me crazy but they are crazy if they don't realize we have the best wings on the planet right here in our backyard, in The People's Republic of Evanston, IL. Buffalo Joe's. In a league of their own.
The wings at that Uproar place also aren't too shabby
p.p.p.s. - never forget Smitty's trip to Philly's infamous Wing-Bowl