Food news

“Chicken was a price and scarcity nightmare,” said one food truck owner.

Chicken wings are missing. Washington Post photo of Debrinsey

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As the economy slowly recovers, food and supply shortages are permeating almost every aspect of the restaurant industry. Starbucks reported a shortage of cups, straws, and peach-flavored juices. Ketchup packages are hard to find. In addition, the prices of most products are due to delivery bottlenecks and some restaurants are raising prices for their own menus.

Just Wingin’It Born During a Pandemic. Founded by Chris Leotsakos and Cody DuBuc, the Chicken Wing Food Truck, which is frequently opened in local breweries, went into operation on March 15, 2020, just two days before its closure. It finally went on sale in August along with all the other restaurants. Difficulty finding basic food items such as gloves and masks.

However, since the beginning of 2021, finding and buying chicken wings has been a big topic. Du Buc stated that the wings of the restaurant depot on Just Wingin’It’s first debut were around $ 2.20 a pound. A month ago it rose to $ 4 a pound.

“Chicken was a nightmare in terms of price and scarcity,” said Du Buc.

Earlier this year, DuBuc said Restaurant Depot had limited the number of chicken wings it could buy to five boxes, or about 200 pounds.

“If we have a good day, we can try out all the products without any problems,” said DuBuc. “They started to reclaim inventory [around March]However, the price was very high back then. Trying to pay that much was really hard to swallow. But since we’re chicken wings trucks, our hands were kind of a tie. “

To offset the surge in spending, Just Wingin’It raised the price of chicken wings. The six chicken wings on a food truck used to cost around $ 7.25, today they’re between $ 9 and $ 9.50.

Jina Kim co-owner, Coreanos At Allston, we face the same problem. Korean fried chicken is popular with Korean and Mexican restaurants, and Kim said chicken supply has grown slowly over the past few months, but prices have also increased by about 25 percent.

Kim also saw the price of beef, which plays a prominent role in restaurant bulgogi and rib dishes, and said it has nearly doubled in stores like BJ and Costco’s wholesale clubs. But she hasn’t raised the price of the menu yet.

“Prices are still high so think about price changes,” she said. “Now we’re trying to keep the price [the same]Because we have a lot of regular customers, especially young people and students. “

The rise in chicken costs is due to a number of factors, including subsequent decreases in supply. Texas winter storm (main chicken producing countries), delivery of chicken wings in COVID-19. And as more restaurants reopen, there is a sudden demand for chicken.

However, not all chicken-oriented restaurants are affected by a shortage of poultry. Andrew Holden, owner of Shy Bird, his Cambridge restaurant said it only uses limited-edition, natural, Indiana chicken. Instead, the shortage came in another way.

“The biggest challenge we faced was the delay in the equipment supply chain. It took four to five months for items we previously thought to be in stock, like new flat grills and deep fryers, to arrive, ”said Holden. He shared it via email. “Some glassware takes weeks instead of days. Overall, we’re in a much better position than we were a year ago, but the rapid economic growth is due to restaurants getting over it. It definitely poses a whole new set of challenges. “

Rockport top dog. – Scott Lucas

Raleigh Russell owns a Rockport top dog, specializing in hot dogs, another ingredient is missing. Russell says her business gets hot dogs from independent retailers, and while this product is not yet in short supply, she’s having a hard time buying other ingredients.

“There’s a problem with spices like vinegar and mustard and cooking oil,” she said. “My salesperson can’t even explain to me why I’m running out of frying oil. In fact, prices have increased by 20% in the last three weeks. “

Top dogs are fried with soybean oil and rapeseed oil, mixed and changed daily. of BloombergBrazil, the world’s largest soybean producer, is suffering from bad weather resulting in lower yields. At the same time, the demand for soybeans is increasing.

According to Russell, hot dog buns are more expensive than last year and nickel is needed to raise the price of hot dogs.

“It doesn’t seem like much, but it does,” said Russell.

Many restaurant owners who spoke to Boston.com agreed that this shortage would not last forever and that the end was in sight. Until then, we hope that our customers will understand the difficulties in gastronomy and the associated price increases.

“In most cases [customers] I understand, “says DuBuc. “There are many companies where restaurant prices have gone up to a reasonable price, and many restaurants have started something like labor costs for every order, especially during a pandemic. Most of the people I understand have tried to get through at some point. Some are still there, and some have yet to discuss whether to close the shop. “

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