When ordering commodity food items like breads, milks, and eggs for instance, restaurants generally have a ballpark figure that rarely swings to extremes. This helps with planning and finance management, but commodities that we may take for granted in terms of pricing are about to throw us for a loop. Nation’s Restaurant News reports on some of the key commodity cost changes that we may already be seeing or can expect to see change in the near future.
Eggs: It seems that the egg shortage is already having an impact on many large food chains. Whataburger already reduced their breakfast hours in response to the egg shortage, but where did it start? It seems that the avian flu may play a large role in our supply of eggs in the near future, so if you haven’t started planning for the price hike or reduced supply, now’s a good time.
Beef: Many of us remember the bacon scare from a few years back, but the price of lean ground beef has skyrocketed an average of 26% in just the past two years. Because of the recent droughts, we may see a further increase of 10% or more this year, and while conditions have certainly improved, it’ll take a while for stock to bounce back. Plan for a shortage of beef and/or an increase in pricing in the near future.
Chicken: As beef prices become slightly unmanageable, many large chains are looking to push their chicken in the meantime. Expect the cost to reflect accordingly, although it may also be a good tactic for your restaurant to consider while beef is in shortage. Unfortunately, chicken wings in particular have risen in cost last year by 63%, so keep in mind that different chicken parts come with different price tags.
Cheese: Skyrocketing cheese prices might be curbed in the near future due to the increase in pizza sales, helping to offset the increase costs for many restaurants nationwide.
Pork: Back to bacon! In March 2014, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, a disease that kills young piglets, pushed pork prices 30 percent higher than the preceding year. We can likely expect those prices to continue on the same path for the time being.
Commodity costs have the ability to influence your menu and swing your financial situation into the red or black. Keep an eye on these key commodities to ensure that you don’t get blindsided by changes in costs this year.