Chicken prices down, but inflation hits Midtown Crumpy’s

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Super Bowl is over and most stuffed themselves with game day sides and chicken wings, but there’s a story behind the people making them, hoping this year, they can turn a profit by selling them.

That effort starts long before the doors opened for business at the Crumpy’s restaurant in Midtown at 1067 Madison Ave.

Corey Shepherd was working his second Super Bowl Sunday as owner.

Last year, making money was difficult.

This year, each time a basket of chicken was dropped into the fryer, by the time it was served, there was a greater chance for profit.

Last year, after COVID-19 caused massive worker shortages, drops in production followed, as did skyrocketing chicken prices.

“There’s no chicken shortage. I don’t have to go out and try to find the chicken in the mom-and-pop stores,” said Shepherd in an interview at the restaurant Sunday morning.

There was a reason for optimism as plenty of orders had been made in advance of game day.

FOX13 Your Money Investigator Kate Bieri reported a 22% drop in poultry prices year over year, but Shepherd noted what he said are prices, slowly creeping toward another rise, as farmers struggle to control bird flu.

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“This year we’re probably at a 3-4 year low on wing prices, but it’s inching back up,” he said.

The profit margin narrows even more when coupled with inflation.

“Other prices have gone up, other than wings,” Shepherd said that including items such as sauce, stationary used to mark items, and materials used for packaging.

It makes tough business, but it is difficult he anticipated.

“This year what we’ve done to try to make that profit is created specials; maybe a 5-piece special with other products,” Shepherd said as an example of the specials to which he referred.

It is a day-by-day grind in which change is the only constant.