This Thanksgiving, both restaurant chefs and home cooks are getting roasted before the turkey even reaches the oven. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, so are dreams of mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and all the turkey you can eat!
However, this year you might not be getting all the turkey you are hoping for… turkey prices are up 73% from last year. The average price per pound of an 8-16lb whole turkey is now $1.99 up from $1.15 last year and it’s only the third week in October!
Why are turkey prices rising so drastically? Avian Influenza – yes, the bird flu is to blame. It has disrupted the supply chain and already led to some turkey shortages. Avian Influenza is highly contagious and has led to more than 47.5 million commercial poultry bird deaths. The industry is predicting turkey production to be about 5% lower than last year.
So, what does this mean for your Thanksgiving menu – either at your restaurant or at home? Well oddly enough it will impact restaurants far more than traditional grocery store shoppers. Grocers lock in contracts up to a year in advance and wholesalers will look to honor those first, which leaves smaller markets and restaurants holding the short end of the wishbone!
However, grocers will be taking what they are given so you might not be able to be as picky about your turkey as you have been in years past. You could also look to take advantage of deals on other meats such as hams and beef roasts as either a supplement or replacement for your traditional Thanksgiving turkey… yeah I don’t like that idea much either.
Any way you slice the turkey, be prepared to pay significantly more for this year’s bird and couple that with rising inflation prices, russet potato shortages, supply chain issues, and this is sure to be the most expensive year yet.
Don’t let the tryptophan get you down though, there are plenty of ways to save that money elsewhere. Let Hospitality Innovations save your restaurant money and time with our Inventory and Order Management Applications so you can sit back and enjoy your Thanksgiving knowing everything at the restaurant is under control!
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