breaking news

One killed in Greene Co. motorcycle crash, deputies investigating

Chicken wing lovers slammed by high prices


Our love for poultry is causing costs to rise — and fans of chicken wings are seeing the steepest increase at the barbecue pit.

Wholesale wing prices have been rising for months and the Washington Post recently reported that some restaurants are seeing their costs for some people’s favorite part of the chicken increase by 60 percent.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the price for a pound of poultry is up nearly 30 percent from January to June 2017.

RELATED: National Chicken Wing Day 2017: Deals from Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee’s, Hooters and more

Jim Manley, marketing manager for Miamisburg-based Fricker’s in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, said any time a commodity price rises, the chain will feel it.

“Like any good business, we have to do what everyone does — we have to adjust,” Manley said Tuesday. Profit may fall a little, he acknowledged, but the company will still provide a “quality product.”

RELATED: New Dayton food truck opens ‘weekend BBQ stand’ near arcade-bar

If there’s a bright side to the price boost, it’s this: It’s being fueled by strong demand for the product, according to Bloomberg and industry observers.

“There’s no question about it,” Manley said. “Chicken I think is the No. 1 protein in North America right now.”

Beef prices have been high in recent years while pork prices have been relatively lower, he said. The company pairs both of those meats with its mainstay chicken dishes in ways that take advantage of those price spreads.

“When prices go up, we just have to tighten our belts a little bit and make the best of it,” he said. “We recognize that this, too, shall pass, and when it does, we’ll reap the benefits of having a good steady business.”

Nicole Cox, marketing director for Dublin, Ohio-based Roosters Inc., agreed that chicken prices are higher than they have ever been.

“We have no intention of raising our prices,” Cox said. “Our main focus is taking care of our guests, making sure they have great service and a good product. That’s the most important thing to us.”

And while Roosters may be known for its wings, the chain also offers pizzas and subs. “That really kind of offsets the rise. It’s just part of the business,” she said.

Raising prices would be self-defeating, she said.

“If you raise prices, then your guests are hesitant to come in,” Cox said. “They’re watching how much they spend. If we just keep providing affordable, great food and great service, they’re going to keep coming, which helps us push through the rise in these prices.”

The problem is so acute that Minneapolis-based Buffalo Wild Wings has seen its earnings take a substantial hit. Last week, the company reported that its net earnings decreased 62.9 percent to $8.8 million from $23.7 million.

“Our profitability was pressured this quarter driven by historically high wing costs, a mix shift to our promotional days, lower than expected same-store sales, and higher operating expenses,” Sally Smith, the company’s president and chief executive, said in the restaurant chain’s earnings release.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, the company said it expected traditional chicken wing price inflation of 8 percent to 10 percent. (Recall that Buffalo Wild Wings recently ended its popular half-price special for wings.)



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

New DP&L plan raises rates
New DP&L plan raises rates

With Dayton Power & Light arguing that its “financial integrity” is at stake, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved new charges and a new “electric security plan” for DP&L customers Friday. The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) asserted that new charges — or “rider” &mdash...
Ohio jobless rate ticks down in September
Ohio jobless rate ticks down in September

The Ohio unemployment rate slightly dipped September to 5.3 percent, down from 5.4 percent the previous month, according to the latest job report released today. Ohio’s non-agricultural wage and salary employment increased 10,500 over the month, from a revised 5,546,500 in August to 5,557,000 in September 2017, the Ohio Department of Job and...
Dayton-area home prices up, number of sales slightly down
Dayton-area home prices up, number of sales slightly down

Home prices in the Dayton region continued to climb in September, though the number of sales ticked down compared to the year prior. Dayton Area Board of Realtors reported today that its multiple listing service reached a sales volume of $228 million in September, up 5 percent from the same month in 2016. The number of sales was 1,428 transactions...
Major Springfield employer sees at least $287M in hurricane costs
Major Springfield employer sees at least $287M in hurricane costs

Assurant, one of Springfield’s biggest employers, expects to record between $287 million and $294 million of reportable catastrophes related to three hurricanes that slammed Texas and the Caribbean in the third quarter this year. The company’s Global Housing Division, based in Springfield, provides insurance and related services in partnership...
House hunters, here are 5 secrets to getting the best home loan
House hunters, here are 5 secrets to getting the best home loan

Getting a home mortgage loan is one of the most important financial commitments most people will ever make, since the terms of your loan can affect your finances in a big way for years to come. Start shopping for a loan before you actually begin looking at homes, since this lets you know where you stand and gives you greater negotiating power with...
More Stories