Restaurants handle rising chicken costs before Super Bowl

SOCASTEE, SC (WMBF) Local restaurants and bars are already getting ready for Sunday's game. But this year, it's really costing them. More than one billion wings will be eaten this weekend, but the question is paying for them. Restaurants say it's popular, but also pricey.

"70 percent of my business is wings," said Dennis Heilman with Wing Kings. "If I don't make my money on 70 percent of the wings, I'm in trouble."

But it's hard to make money when restaurants have to keep paying more just to keep chicken wings on the menu.

"The prices are way too high," explained Heilman.

The price of chicken wings has gone up more than 20 percent this year, just in time for the wings' biggest holiday. Socastee Station owner Ed Flambard is opening his place on Sunday just to serve during the big game.

"It's tough," Flambard said. "And there's some point where we're going to have to put a ceiling on what we're going to have to pay for."

Yet places know they have to cater to the chicken craving. Many customers, like Shannon Beauford, say it's the one thing that has to be on the plate.

"What other kind of food can you just gather around, and everybody just sticks their hands in everybody's plates and just nobody cares?" Beauford asked.

This leaves owners without much choice.

"The Super bowl is technically our busiest day of the year," said Heilman. "Last year we went through 40 cases."

Flambard says he will "just try to weather the storm, and hopefully after the Super Bowl, it'll come back to a regular price again."

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