Chicken wing shortage puts local restaurant in fowl predicament

Business

SAN DIEGO – The manager of a College Area restaurant says they’re receiving only about half of the chicken wings they order and at prices up to 80% higher than usual amid a nationwide wing shortage.

Michael Feldman said his restaurant, Dirty Birds Bar & Grill, has been running short on wings.

“We’re short every single day,” he said. “We run out anywhere from two, three, four days a week periodically.”

The shortage has put eateries in a difficult position for months, stemming from an uptick in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of production workers, Newsweek reported. It comes as a number of industries in the U.S. — from automakers to oil refineries to lumberyards, among others — are reporting various shortages and higher prices in the fallout of the pandemic.

Feldman says there are several contributing factors, including labor at the processing plants and the winter vortex that caused Texas to be under rolling blackouts in February.

“You can start to see (the prices) go up and up over the last couple of months,” he said. “It’s through the roof if we can even get them.”

In the past year, Dirty Birds was offering to-go orders at half-price. But no longer.

“The first day the pandemic hit, we offered them to-go to give back to the community and try to offer our assistance,” Feldman said. “Based on the pricing and the shortage, we finally had to stop that about a month ago, which we really felt bad about but we really had no choice at that point.”

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