Chicken-wing eateries stay loaded as coronavirus renders beef rarer
Wing Zone CEO wants to wait on reopening dine-in restaurants
Wing Zone CEO and co-founder Matt Friedman says the company’s takeout and delivery model is thriving, but restaurant owners remain wary of reopening bars and dining rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chicken wings may be more popular than ever, as American consumers housebound by the COVID-19 pandemic seek an alternative to meats less readily available after virus-related plant closings.
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Wing stockpiles, however, are holding up well. They have, in fact, “been in great supply during the entire pandemic,” Wingstop CEO Charles Morrison told FOX Business.
While chicken wing prices fell sharply during April – from about $1.60 per pound to a low of 96 cents per pound – as demand fizzled due to restaurant closures, they have since rallied.
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Wings reached nearly $1.30 a pound as disruptions in the beef and pork supply chains led to shortages of those meats and are likely to rise further as states begin easing “stay-at-home” orders and restaurants start to reopen their doors.
“Chicken wings are one of the more volatile commodities out there,” Morrison said, adding that the company has developed a pricing strategy that accounts for the fluctuations in cost. Additionally, boneless wings and tenders, which make up about 35 percent of the company’s total product purchases, are contracted on an annual basis.
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