WICHITA, Kan. (KSNT) – Craving chicken wings? That the hot meal is getting increasingly hotter and harder to come by with each passing day. It is already impacting restaurants and soon your food tab.
The owner of Buffalo Wings & Rings, Zac Blue, said this has been a perfect storm. Between the recent Texas storms killing off supply, a shortage in labor, and a rise in demand from new ghost kitchens — it’s making it hard to keep up with supply and demand.
O’Malley’s Irish Pub to help get past the shortage decided to remove chicken wings from their happy hour menu.
“Everybody was like I’ve never heard of the wings shortage, you guys are lying. You’re just trying to make an extra buck,” said Robert Crandell, owner of O’Malley’s Irish Pub.
He says their wings are a big seller.
“During happy hour, we would sell about 50 orders of wings a day,” Crandell said.
A move to help save the business as the price for chicken wings soars across the country.
“Chicken prices, just this year have increased by 30%, and they’re expected to increase by at least 50% in the next month or two,” Blue explained.
Both O’Malley’s and Buffalo Wings & Rings are doing their best to stay stocked, but it’s getting tougher.
“The allocation, when we put in our orders is getting tighter and tighter, but we put in our orders earlier — so hopefully we get allocated the full amount sometimes we don’t,” Blue said.
“A lot of the big food distributors are right now just selling to their big customers like Buffalo Wild Wings, and it’s really frustrating for us little guys because they can,” Crandell said. “They can last for years closed, but we need every day, it is what we count on.”
Local business owners are already feeling the hit of the shortage, and soon, you may see it on your tab too.
“Restaurant prices are not by any means increasing at the rate our prices are increasing from the supplier,” Blue said. “So we’re trying to bear that cost as much as possible, but restaurants in general will eventually be increasing prices, it’s just you can’t avoid it.”