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First, sanitizer, then wipes, cars, lumber, and now wings; local restaurant struggles with shortage

The soaring price of wings has forced at least one local restaurant owner to cancel some...
The soaring price of wings has forced at least one local restaurant owner to cancel some specials.(Megan Vanselow)
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 7:27 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - At Wings Pizza N Things in the Temple Towne Center, owners say chicken wing prices are at an all-time high, forcing them to cancel certain wing specials they used to offer.

“I never thought I’d be talking to a news reporter about chicken wings and how much they cost when it was a throwaway item 20 years ago,” owner Mike Dent said Wednesday.

“The cost is literally double what it was six months ago.

He orders hundreds of cases of chicken every week, and the price hike is costing him thousands of dollars more per order.

“I had to take the bone-in [wings] off the Tuesday special because it was literally costing me so much…I was literally losing money,” Dent said.

He says the cost of cooking oil has more than tripled as well.

He thinks the labor shortages at processing plants are causing all prices to go up and says the worker shortage is another of the challenges he faces this year, too.

“I can interview a lot of people, it’s getting them to come in and work,” Dent explained.

Demand for chicken wings, a convenient takeout food, has also gone up during the pandemic, Dent says, which could be another factor in the price increase.

Despite the price changes and the understaffing, customers remain loyal, Dent says.

“Customers have continued to come in and continued to buy the bone-in wings at regular price,” he said.

He says he’s worried the increased prices won’t go away anytime soon, but says when they do, he’ll adjust his prices accordingly.

Dent is confident the restaurant can ride out the storm, he just hopes the next shortage doesn’t affect its famous ranch sauce.

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