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Wing Wednesday more expensive? You can thank a chicken wing shortage for that

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 19:58:53-04

Whether you like them sweet, spicy or covered in lemon pepper, it looks like the supply of chicken wings has flown the coop while the demand continues to grow.

Like many places in the country, Texas is seeing a shortage in chicken wings. Much of that is due to the pandemic and February's winter storm.

”For most of the time of the pandemic, chicken production continued, but it waxed and waned because there would be surges in COVID and they would have to shut down or greatly reduce,” explained Dr. Rob Tennant, Interim Department Chair for Finance and Economics at Texas A&M-Central Texas.

Supply is down and demand is up, leaving local businesses feeling the pinch when trying to restock. Many of them are having trouble finding wings to buy.

”We normally go through Sysco and PFD when we order our wings, but when they are out, we go to Sam’s. When we go to Sam’s, they also say they are having trouble finding wings as well,” said Shalonda Smith, owner of The Spot Bar and Restaurant in Killeen.

The shortage is causing an increase in price. While some restaurants are charging more, they are also paying more.

”The price of wings was $1.83 a pound, and currently it's just under $3 a pound. So that’s definitely making it, even if they are available, it’s making it less palatable to buy them,” said Dr. Tennant.

Businesses like The Spot are paying more for wings but don’t want raise their menu price.

”We do not want to raise our prices, being that we have our everyday customers. But if we don’t have no wings, that means we’re losing customers as well because people come here just for our wings,” said Smith.

The Spot isn’t giving up, even though wings are hard to get. The owner says there is no way she is going to let her customers down.

”I’m going to make it my all to make sure they have their wings. If I have to go to another city to get the wings, that’s what I will do,” said Smith.

The cost of wings is going up at a lot of restaurants, but at The Spot, they are staying right where they are.