Chicken wing shortage hits Rochester, prices rising for local favorites

Food and Drink

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A national chicken wing shortage is concerning to some local restaurant owners.

Windjammers Bar and Grill is famous for its wings and owner Lee Selover said he’s worried about what the shortage could do to business.

He said wings are up $70 per case right now which is double what they were this time last year.

“Some of the wholesalers, they’re down to one case a day now they can only get. So far we’re doing okay but I worry about it because we’re based on wings,” Selover said.

Michael O’Leary owns Temple Bar and Grill and said he’s in the process of raising the price of wings, something he said he should’ve done awhile ago.

“How much can I charge people for wings and they’ll still buy them, that’s the question. We have a couple nights a week we do wing specials and we’re having to do away with that because we can’t offer a discount on it. If I was going with the price we were currently charging on Monday nights I’m losing about 25 cents on every wing that comes out of the kitchen,” O’Leary said.

Selover said he’s raised his price to nearly $16 for a dozen, but he’s also gotten creative with alternatives.

“What we’re doing now is applying all our seasonings, dressings to chicken fingers and then we came up with, they’re not boneless wings they’re just cut up breast parts like all the big corporations do and we’re doing that and they seem to be going over so people are still getting their fix in a way,” said Selover. “I think we’ll survive but it’s gonna be a rough road.”

He said there’s no way to tell how long the shortage could last but it’s been slowly growing over the past year.

They also say the price of the oil used to cook the wings and butter for the sauce has gone up and is expected to keep climbing.

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