Saturday, November 9, 2013

Wing Crunch Time

Restaurant chains driven by wing sales should consider switching to a wing portioning program to bring menu profits more in line with acquisition cost. Supply of the highly desirable jumbo cut wing size is limited and pricing is under siege year-round - not just for the Holiday's and the Super-Bowl. The situation will not be getting better anytime soon. 

We are advising clients to adjust their portioning policy to make wing count size issues less critical. An obvious strategy is to adjust the count range requirement and move to a smaller or larger wing. Some of our favorite joints (they all have WINGS in their name) made this move in 2012).  We favor a variation of this approach;  instead of serving a set number of pieces, factor the size (wt) of the wings in each portion, more than the wing count. 

Consider what the a portioning program can bring to your business. Customers instead of ordering with the expectation of receiving a certain number of pieces, will have a choice of ordering by weight;  ¼ lb., ½ pound and 1 pound or family & friend platter servings. 

Despite the wing count, the customer gets the same volume of meat, and the new serving policy improves the chances of keeping supplied at somewhat discounted prices. Right now, because of low production and high product demand, it's " Wing Crunch Time - All The Time" for fresh small bird cut wings. 

You already know that no poultry company actually counts the wings they pack in a 40# case. The wing count is 100% determined by the size of the live bird and there aren't many 5-6# birds being grown. Just asking leading poultry companies like; Tyson, Wayne Farms, Pilgrims, Mountaire, Simmons, Perdue, Sanderson, OMP, Koch and Keystone about the time these nice folks get around to returning your telephone call, you can finish reading Wenzel's "Menu Maker".

To Higher Profits,


Fred Favole is President of Strategic Purchasing Services (SPS), America's most experienced foodservice purchasing services firm. Services: spend assessments, bid & GPO management & menu ideation & outsourcing. Contact Info:  (912) 634-0030 e-mail: