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Skyrocketing chicken prices impact Central Texas restaurants

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Posted at 10:27 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 23:27:33-04

Some Waco restaurants are being forced to change their menus and prices as the cost of chicken has continued to rise in recent weeks.

Waco business owners expressed their frustration over the rising prices, attributed to the supply chain issues and the rising cost to transport goods.

Shamica Evans, owner of the Waffle Chic food truck in Waco, said the price of the chicken she purchases for her signature chicken and waffles has nearly doubled in recent months. She said rising costs have added even more of a burden to already strained small business owners.

"There's no more funding, no more help from anywhere for us to stay afloat," Evans said. "So we gotta figure out...what can we do?"

The extra costs are much more difficult for small businesses to handle than large chain restaurants.

Evans said many times, the rising costs are forcing restaurant and food truck owners to pass along the extra costs to customers. Coach's Smoke barbecue restaurant has been avoiding raising its prices as it battles the higher costs.

"Right now, as far as the chicken and everything else, we don't know if we will," said Coach's general manager Irene Ramon. "We'll just wait and see what happens."

Baylor University supply chain management professor Pedro Reyes explained that in times of inflation, chicken is usually the first food to go up in price.

"The cost has to be absorbed somewhere, either the company absorbs it or the consumer pays for it, and it's easier for the consumer pays for it," Reyes said.

Reyes explained that inflation is going to continue to worsen before it gets better and that local restaurants will need to be creative in order to make up for the extra costs and to stay afloat.