MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A shortage of chicken wings is raising menu prices across the Grand Strand.
Customers at Scotto’s Pizzeria are now paying more than $3 more for wings in order to make up for what the owner now has to pay. The price increase began about 10 days ago.
“It’s pretty hefty on our side,” said Tony Scotto, son of the owner of Scotto’s Pizzeria.
Scotto said that’s about a 20% increase. He said there aren’t enough drivers to deliver the wings, which he believes is causing the increase.
“Every week it’s a new driver,” he said. “And every time we talk to our vendor they let us know ‘we’re hiring and they’re quitting at the same time.'”
Weldon Boyd, the owner of Buoys on the Boulevard, said he used to pay $70 for a case of wings. Now, he’s paying almost $140.
Skyrocketing prices, Boyd said, make it difficult to bring enough wings to the table.
The National Chicken Council, however, said calling it a shortage is a “stretch”.
It said the tight supply is due to a winter storm in February that hit Texas and nearby states, which are major chicken-producing regions. It also said there have been fertility problems with rooster over the last several months.
Tom Super, senior vice president of the National Chicken Council said in a statement:
The industry produces tens of billions of wings annually and producers are working diligently to meet the upsurge in consumer demand by adding millions more. As chicken production begins to resume back to a more normal pace of output in the coming months, and there is a better supply/demand ratio, the market tightness should ease.
Meanwhile, local restaurants tell News13 they are financially burdened.
“We haven’t raised our menu prices yet, but we’d like to find a way to not have to do that,” Boyd said.
He also said there are several other items such as chicken breasts, plastic cups and vinegar that have also gone up in price causing a limited supply.
This comes as many restaurants aren’t able to keep up with the demand of customers due fewer people coming to work.