If you are watching a sports game or grilling on a Saturday afternoon, chances are chicken wings are part of the menu.
Wings are an American tradition and something people have been enjoying for many years.
Wings can be flavored in a variety of ways, and they are very tasty.
Overall, wings can be filling as well because they contain a good amount of protein.
If you enjoy wings, you know that they can also be expensive sometimes.
Wings can be a bit cheaper at home than they are in a restaurant, yet you still may pay a lot.
Why Are Wings So Expensive?
Wings are a very popular food.
Not only are they available in a lot of different flavors, but they are also really great tasting and fun to eat.
People enjoy going out with friends for a drink and some wings.
Many bars and restaurants will do specials on wings to get people to their establishment.
The popularity of the wings makes them more expensive.
This goes back to a classic supply and demand situation.
The supply of wings has a hard time keeping up with the demand.
As wings get more and more popular, there are other places that are starting to offer wings.
It used to be something that you would eat at a bar or chain type restaurant, but you can now get them even at higher end restaurants.
Higher-end restaurants will prepare wings in a different way than the chain places.
The wings will be made with special sauces and spices as well.
It really doesn’t matter where you go or the type of food you are eating, chances are there are going to be some type of wings available.
These wings will increase in price because they are so popular.
2. Chickens Only Have Two Wings
Wings are expensive because there are not many of them.
A chicken only has two wings.
These two wings will be eaten very quickly by a person.
Most people consume eight or more wings when they eat.
It’s difficult to make more wings when the chicken only has two of them.
All of the other parts of the chicken also need to be processed, and therefore, there could end up being quite a bit of waste if we are processing chickens just for the wings.
Essentially, wings take a lot of chickens to produce, and in order to provide all of the wings that are needed, it is difficult to keep up with the demand.
If chickens had ten wings, this would be a bit easier, but that is certainly not going to happen anytime soon, and the pricing will remain high until it does.
3. Markup in a Restaurant
Another reason wings are so expensive is that people are purchasing them at restaurants.
Anytime you buy food at a restaurant, it is going to be marked up.
After all, this is only fair considering the restaurant has to prepare the food for you and serve it to you as well.
When you purchase your own wings and prepare them yourself, you will have a much lower markup per wing.
In the restaurant, wings are quite popular, and they are often part of a special offer.
You will get a certain number of wings with a drink for a specific price.
The markup in a restaurant needs to be enough to cover the food costs, the overhead of the restaurant, and leave a little room for profit.
When you make wings at home, you will not have these additional costs, and therefore, it will be quite a bit less money.
Although purchasing wings at a restaurant is going to be a bit more costly, it can sometimes be hard to get wings to taste as good at home.
Restaurants have a great setup for cooking the wings in a fryer.
Although you can do this at home, it makes quite a mess and takes some time.
You can also bake or grill wings at home, but some people will admit that the taste will not be quite as good as they get at a restaurant.
4. Cooking Process
At a restaurant, wings need to be prepared quickly.
They will need to be seasoned and then cooked in a very short period of time.
Wings are served hot as well.
Therefore, the restaurant staff has to do quite a bit of prep work ahead of time, and they must be ready for the large orders to come in all at once.
The cooking process for wings is not time-consuming, but it is labor-intensive.
Since wings cook so quickly, they need to be watched closely and removed at just the right time.
This cooking process is part of why wings are so expensive.
The other thing about wings is that many of them are fried.
For a restaurant to make wings, they must have a fryer in place, and this is not something that all restaurants will have.
The cooking process, having the right equipment, and the attention it takes to cook the perfect wings all increase the price.
You will understand this better when you make them at home.
When you cook a wing, you will only get a little bit of meat, so you will end up with not very much food for the amount of time it takes to cook just one wing.
5. Spices and Sauces
Most of the time, chicken wings are not sold as just a plain wing.
There are usually sauces and spices that will coat the wings.
Some people like wings with hot sauce while others are looking for something with barbecue sauce on it.
Some people like wings with something more like a jerk seasoning on it.
There are hundreds of ways to prepare wings, but each of these different spices and sauces is going to cost money.
These costs are going to apply both at home and while out to eat.
You may notice that, depending on how you want your wings prepared, the pricing can change.
If you want wings with lots of extra toppings and sauces, you will probably be paying quite a bit more money.
Although the wings themselves are expensive, these extra features are only going to add to the costs involved.
Keep in mind that most people will say that these extras are going to be worth the money you pay for them.
6. Number of Wings to be Full
Eating one chicken wing is certainly more of a snack than a meal.
Most people will eat seven or eight wings that are average size if they are going to call it a meal.
Some will eat even more than this.
The thing about chicken wings is that you will not get very much meat from each individual one.
In fact, the amount of meat you get is going to be minimal.
This is a major reason people consider chicken wings to be expensive.
When you have to purchase so many of them to serve as a meal and feed a group of people, things can get costly.
Overall, chicken is one of the cheaper types of meat to eat, and it is why so many people serve chicken on a daily basis.
However, eating a chicken breast is going to be much more filling than eating two wings.
Therefore, people feel as though the price of the wings is high even though it has more to do with quantity than anything else.
If you don’t eat very much food, chicken wings are going to be a great meal.
If you are a big eater, the chicken breast or a chicken thigh is going to be a better deal.
7. Per Pound Price Includes Bone
When you buy chicken wings at the store, you will pay a certain price per pound.
The price per pound includes the weight of the bones in the chicken.
If you have eaten chicken wings, the majority of the wings are going to be bones, and you will only get a few bites of chicken.
When you purchase a few pounds of chicken wings, you are not really getting that much meat.
This is hard to calculate and figure out because there is no way to know if you are paying for bone or chicken meat.
This is what makes chicken wings a bit more expensive than when you purchase something like a chicken breast.
A chicken breast is usually free of the bone, and therefore, you will know exactly how much chicken you are getting.
You will also know how you can prepare that chicken for a group because you can see what you are working with.
When purchasing wings, it can always be a little bit of a gamble whether or not you have enough to feed a crowd.
The next time you purchase wings at the store, look at the price per pound compared to the price per pound for a chicken breast.
You may see the numbers we are talking about.
8. Overhead Costs in a Restaurant
We have talked about this before, and we will probably say it again, but restaurants have a ton of overhead costs.
In addition to having the oil and the machinery to get your wings to your table quickly, they also need other things to serve with your wings.
How about the basket the wings come in, the napkins, the celery, the ranch, or the blue cheese on the side?
The number of things needed to put quality wings on the table is going to cost the restaurant quite a bit of money.
A restaurant is not going to do this for free, and they will need to make a profit on all of it.
There has been a shortage in celery in the last few years which has caused the pricing to go up.
If your favorite restaurant used to give you celery with the purchase of your wings, they might not do that anymore.
These overhead costs are hard to keep under control, and some restaurants are willing to work on smaller margins than others.
Finding a place that gives you a fair value for some great wings is certainly a place you should return on a regular basis.
9. Becoming a Luxury Food
Whoever thought that wings could become a luxury food?
This has been a recent change that we have seen when it comes to wings.
They are being used in high-end restaurants as an appetizer which will be more high end than a traditional buffalo wing.
The wings that are sold at restaurants like this are probably going to have a process to their cooking or some kind of special sauce or spice.
Since wings have gone from being a bar food to a luxury food item, they have increased in price.
This is a good thing, but it is unfortunate for those who have always enjoyed cheap wings at a bar.
As soon as a food is looked at as being high end or a luxury item, chances are the pricing is going to increase.
The other thing you will notice about this is that the supply is going to go down as well.
If better restaurants now want wings to serve on their menu, that is just an entire other group of people to serve.
10. Boneless Wings
Boneless wings came on the market, and you would think that it would make the pricing of the traditional wings go down.
This has just not happened.
People have been kind of turned off by the idea of boneless wings.
Although the idea of not having to deal with the chicken bones and simply being able to eat these high-quality wings may sound great, it is not the same.
The boneless wings are actually just pieces of chicken breast and are not wing meat at all.
They are really more similar to chicken nuggets than they are to chicken wings.
The idea was that boneless wings would be more appealing, easier to eat, and people would decide they were a better choice for them.
This has not happened, and many are finding that they would just rather stick with the chicken wings.
Therefore, the supply needs have not changed, and traditional wings have stayed just as expensive.
If the boneless wings start to get popular and take off, the price on the traditional wings could start to go down.
This would undoubtedly be a welcome change for all of those who love wings.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why wings are so expensive.
This food is extremely popular, and it never seems to die down in popularity.
People love to eat wings regardless of the time of year.
Since chickens can only produce two wings at a time, the pricing will not drop anytime soon.
If you want to be able to save money on wings, you have to purchase them at the grocery store, bring them home, and cook them yourself.
Although you may not get the same exact taste that you do in the restaurant, you will enjoy them, and you will save lots of money.