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Chicken wing prices double for South Florida restaurants

National Chicken Wing Day
Chicken wings
Posted at 4:33 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 18:00:44-04

JUPITER, Fla. — Today is national chicken wing day, and you may have noticed the price at restaurants have gone up. Here's why you're paying more when you eat out.

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"The price of chicken wings has literally gone up 100%," said Vicky Parmelee, owner of Jumby Bay Island Grill in Jupiter.

"There's supply chain issues, actually the cost of our chicken wings have doubled since last summer," said Joe Webb the President of South Florida's largest restaurant chain, Duffy's Sports Girll.

Duffy's says it still has its jumbo wings, but they understand why some restaurants have pulled them off their happy hour menus. "It's very difficult to sell wings at a discount right now. Some folks [have] gone frozen have gone smaller," said Webb.

"Right now we're limiting [chicken wing happy hours] a little bit. It's, it's just really difficult," said Parmelee, "There's not a chicken wing shortage that there is just a shortage of people working to produce the chicken wings and get them to us."

"We are absorbing most of the costs, we've raised our prices a little bit on our chicken wings but we want to sell a great chicken wings at a fair price," Webb said.

"But I'm really afraid because it's gone so far up now that if it goes up again for football season, then we're really gonna have issues," worried Parmelee.

And it's not just chicken wings post-pandemic restaurant to-go sales are up and has increased the demand for containers and cutlery; plasticware has doubled in price.

"Absolutely. So has most everything we've tried to keep control of our pricing and absorb some of that because we will still want to be interesting [and] affordable," said Daniel Smith who is the managing partner PB Catch on Palm Beach.

"Ribs, have gone up way up in price, our fry oil has gone way up in price. So again it's just kind of combating that and doing it that thing we can to find savings and other places," said Webb.

"In poultry producing areas like Texas. Wings are running as much as 2-3 times what they were a year ago, depending on the market. General food costs can be 50% to 300% greater year over year depending on the commodity," said Jodi Cross, regional spokesperson for the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

"Restaurants food costs typically run 30%-35% of sales, (which with additional fixed and variable costs yields [a net] profit of typically less than 10%), so these increases are forcing operators to either make menu price increases, suspend some items until the cost comes down, or otherwise alter offerings to achieve profitability," said Cross.

"Right now we are not serving our luscious crab cakes that I absolutely love the crab is extremely expensive. And at this point, I don't want to raise my prices I would rather just say hey we're going to hold off on having crab cakes available until the price comes down a little bit," said Parmelee.

"We've been having so many challenges in terms of what [T.A. Walker] said in terms of price, labor, and we're continuing to have those challenges right now," said Louis Grayson - owner Ramon Lab Eatery in Delray.

"We're not immune to all these issues right now, we're doing our best to not say push through it but we're doing our best to go through every day, prepared for whatever comes at us," said Jeffery Armusik the Executive Chef at 3800 Ocean on Singer Island.

"[The higher prices] are going to get back to the consumer. I'm really hoping that it's a temporary problem and that some of these prices will start going back down," said Parmelee.