Restaurants paying nearly 400% more for chicken amid shortage


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A national chicken shortage is hitting restaurants hard, and you may have noticed some changes on your favorite menus.

“It makes it very hard to break even on those dishes,” Jay Ives, owner of The Blind Tiger Brewery and Restaurant in Topeka, said.

The price of chicken has risen roughly 400% for Ives. He said he hasn’t increased the price of those chicken dishes he’s referring to or even considered taking them off his menu to keep customers satisfied.

“Our customers depend upon those menu items, and they love them,” Ives said.

At Henry T’s in both Topeka and Lawrence, the restaurant typically offers half-price deals on certain days of the week. But the restaurant announced some of its chicken dishes would remain full price for the time being amidst the shortage.

“We were given an advisement from Tyson and Purdue that there was going to be a limited supply of chicken and the price was going to be high,” Sean Gerrity, owner of Henry T’s, said.

Gerrity said he only got half of his chicken supply and payed nearly double for it.

Both restaurants are already struggling to fill their staff.

Tyson, which is facing a labor shortage of its own, said its roosters are to blame. Chicken volumes have been in part because the breeding is not meeting expectations.

The National Chicken Council told USA Today, “Chicken producers are doing everything they can to overcome the devastating impact of Mother Nature when she inflicted the once-in-a-lifetime winter storm on Texas and nearby states – major chicken producing regions.”

The restaurant owners encourage anyone looking for a job to apply. As the demand for dining out increases, they need help keeping up in the restaurants.

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