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MT. WASHINGTON (KDKA) — Chicken wings!
What’s a trip to the bar or watching a sports event at home without them?
“Everybody likes wings, and everybody’s looking for a good wing night,” says Anthony Zekas of Mt. Washington.
Wings are so popular now, that this once-discarded piece of a chicken sells more on Super Bowl Sunday than pizza.
“I love wings. Love wings. Love the spices on them,” adds Wayne Henchar of Harmony.
But the rising demand for wings, especially during football season, is spiking prices everywhere to historic levels, including Bigham Tavern on Mt. Washington, which has won numerous awards for the best wings in Pittsburgh, co-owner Jessica Rewis told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.
Delano: “Is the cost of wings threatening your business?”
Rewis: “It’s definitely affecting our business. We’re at a crossroads where we don’t know what to do in terms of pricing.”
They are not alone.
Buffalo Wild Wings has abandoned half-priced wings on Tuesdays.
The problem is a chicken has only two wings, and even a neighborhood tavern like Bigham needs thousands of them.
Bigham Tavern sells over 89,000 pounds of standard wings every year.
And if you’re wondering how much that is, if you take these little wings and stack them end to end, it would go straight up 30 miles.
Bigham can no longer sell them for 50 cents on their Wednesday wing night.
“We would like to see around 80 cents a wing and that includes not just the wing itself and the sauce, but also the marketing, the overhead, the labor that goes into producing our wings,” says Sarah Wilderman, Bigham’s marketing director.
“So around 80 cents we think would be fair,” she adds.
But taking a loss, Bigham’s wings will go for 66 cents a wing on wing night.
But by the Super Bowl, it will be more.
“Unfortunately, it probably cannot stay there,” says Rewis.
Some wing lovers will eat the higher cost.
Delano: “Are you willing to pay a buck a wing?”
Zekas: “If it’s quality — yes.”