Chicken at high demand, local restaurants seeing depleted supply

High demand for chickens at restaurants

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Local restaurants are seeing a higher demand for chicken and even higher prices to buy it.

If you eat from Martha’s Place, you know, chicken is always on their menu.

“That’s our main entre,” manager Cassandra Hawkins-Copeland said.

Lately, they’ve had to buy chicken in bulk, and Copeland says hers and other restaurants have faced increased prices from suppliers.

“We try to go to different places to try to find some that are reasonable because we serve it every day,” Copeland said.

It’s a similar story at another popular chicken restaurant, Wingers.

“When we first started here three years ago, the price of a chicken wing box which was a 40-pound box, was 80 dollars a box right now. The current price is 180 a box,” the owner of Wingers, Lee Pena, said.

Pena says suppliers have told him the lack of personnel to process the chicken and fewer truck drivers on the road have left them unable to meet demands.

Caleb Hicks with the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association says the ongoing chicken sandwich war also plays a big part.

“KFC and Popeyes all those folks are jumping on the bandwagon as well as the high demand for chicken wings,” Hicks said.

Martha’s Place and Wingers say they are concerned, but they don’t plan to pass along the price increase to their customers.

Hicks advises local restaurants to be patient as suppliers catch up with the market demand.

“It takes a while for that demand for the processors to swift with the ongoing demand. It’s not an overnight switch,” Hicks said.

Alabama process 22 million meat-type chickens per week, which equates to 1.1 billion per year.

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