Soaring Chicken Prices Impact Central Texas Restaurants

Some restaurants in Waco are being forced to change their menus and prices as the cost of chicken has steadily increased in recent weeks.

Waco business owners have expressed frustration over rising prices, attributed to supply chain issues and rising costs of transporting goods.

Shamica Evans, owner of the Waffle Chic food truck in Waco, said the price of the chicken she buys for her signature chicken and waffles has nearly doubled in recent months. She said rising costs have further increased the burden on already strained small business owners.

“There’s no more funding, no more help from anywhere to keep us afloat,” Evans said. “So we have to find…what can we do?”

The additional costs are much more difficult to manage for small businesses than for large restaurant chains.

Evans has repeatedly said rising costs are forcing restaurant and food truck owners to pass on additional costs to customers. Barbecue restaurant Coach’s Smoke has avoided raising prices as it battles higher costs.

“Right now, when it comes to chicken and everything else, we don’t know if we’ll do it,” Coach general manager Irene Ramon said. “We’ll just wait and see what happens.”

Baylor University supply chain management professor Pedro Reyes explained that in times of inflation, chicken is usually the first food to rise in price.

“The cost has to be absorbed somewhere, either the business absorbs it or the consumer pays for it, and it’s easier for the consumer to pay for it,” Reyes said.

Reyes said inflation will continue to get worse before it gets better, and local restaurants will need to get creative in order to offset the extra costs and stay afloat.

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