August 4, 2022

Chicken wing prices up 99% due to labor shortage: Buffalo restaurant owner


  • Suppliers of chicken wings have nearly doubled their prices, the owner of a Duff’s Famous Wings in Buffalo, New York, told Fox.
  • That’s because chicken farms are struggling to find workers during the labor shortage in the United States, he said.
  • Frying oil has also increased by more than 120% so far this year, said Greg Duell.

Chicken wings are getting much more expensive because farms struggle to hire staff during a nationwide labor shortage, a restaurant owner in Buffalo, New York, told Fox Business on Monday.

“Chicken wing farms in America are struggling to retain and recruit employees,” Greg Duell, co-owner of 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 them and take them out,” he said. .

The prices of its supplier’s wings have increased by 99%, he said. “They just can’t keep up,” he added.

Duell has one of Duff’s nine branches.

Read more: How Starbucks is defying the workforce shortage crisis with transformative benefits, not cash teasers like McDonald’s

The labor shortage is hitting the hospitality sectors with ridesharing applications. Meanwhile, demand for restaurants is increasing as the US economy reopens, leaving restaurants scrambling to keep up.

In addition to the labor shortage, high demand and unprecedented winter storms in Texas have caused chicken prices to skyrocket.

The CEO of the Ohio-based wing chain Roosters told the Dayton Daily News that chicken wing prices were “at their highest 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 it’s getting harder and harder to store their $ 4.99 roast chicken.

It’s not just chicken that’s getting more expensive: Duell said the cost of frying oil has risen by more than 120% so far this year, while the owner of a barbecue restaurant in New Hampshire said the cost of St. Louis coast has increased by 50%.

Restaurants have also been directly affected by the huge labor shortage, which the US Chamber of Commerce has called a “national economic emergency.” About two-thirds of small restaurants say they can’t find enough staff, and half said that meant they were having trouble paying rent.

Insider’s Ayelet Sheffey reported that the labor shortage could be due to a mix of unemployment benefits, COVID-19 health issues, family responsibilities and low wages.

Duell called the additional $ 300 unemployment benefits a “huge problem” and said they “certainly” caused the labor shortage in the hospitality industry.

He told Fox Business he had raised wages to keep workers.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t go on with an extra $ 300 on top of unemployment benefit,” he said. “Menu prices would skyrocket more than they already are.”

Some companies are passing higher labor and ingredient costs on to customers with “prudent” price increases, Kevin Burke, managing director and member of the consumer team at Citizens Capital Markets, told Insider . Chipotle has already raised its prices by around 4%.

Restaurants offer lucrative perks to attract new hires, including free iPhones and even a $ 50 payment to people who show up for an interview.

The Federal Reserve has said the downsizing could last for months, but Bank of America expects the job market to recover by early 2022.