How Restaurants Are Coping with a Chicken Wing Shortage During Football Season


Key Points:

  1. The chicken wing shortage is just a symptom of a larger supply chain shortage.
  2. Restaurants have approached the chicken wing shortage three different ways by either finding an alternative to wings like legs, admitting that they are out of wings or making pricing adjustments.
  3. Restaurants need to be proactive in presenting shortage information to customers.


The chicken wing shortage is a scary phrase to hear. Restaurants have been dealing with this dilemma for a couple months now. Some restaurants have made adjustments to the shortage, like WingStop who has started selling thighs as a substitute. MarketScale asked Chris Romani who is the CEO of Restaurant Smarts what the food and restaurant industry is doing as a whole to combat this problem and what lessons they can learn from this shortage.

Abridged Thoughts:

In the sense of: are chicken wings readily available? It is still a major problem. But as far as restaurants themselves go, a lot of them have begun to adjust and there’s a lot of varied solutions.

Some of the common solutions I see one of the main ones is that some restaurants have started to substitute chicken wings with chicken legs, so they can still offer something of that variety. Other restaurants where chicken wings are not a central feature or maybe a commonly bought item, they’ve just moved to not having them, just admitting that they’re out of them.They just talk about how they don’t have any in stock.

And then finally, of course, some have done a pricing adjustment. The question with the pricing adjustment really is, do you charge it as a surcharge? You just change the price of your wings. And what I’ve found is that I think just changing the price of your menu versus a surcharge actually goes over a little bit better with your clients.


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