Cost of Wings

I do not sell that many wings, I usually just have been going to GFS, I buy unbreaded jumbo wings, I have noticed since super bowl sunday, that the cost has not come down at all $11.99 5# bag $2.40#. I have only been able to find a cheaper price from one of my local suppliers a whole 40# case 1st & 2nd part attached at .69 per lb, at which I feel is a super price. Not sure how my customers will react to the change of the wings being attached, any suggestions ??? I guess I could just cut them but very labor intensive, but the cost I suppose is worth it

There is a noticable difference between jumbo wings and regular wings. I would get the jumbo wings from your distributor that are cut. You can get them for less than $2.50 a lb.
If you change your customers will notice and then not buy any.
Places that compromise quality to save money lose customers.

The wings from my local dist. is jumbo they are just attached 1st & 2nd joint, I have always used the ones that are cut.

Daisy you should be able to break down 40lbs. of wings in a half-hour or so. I’d recommend doing so instead of serving the intact joints. No one is used to that and I’d think it would be a “turn off” for many. That price is good enough to invest a little bit of labor into.

I would suggest asking your suppliers about already cut wings im sure you can get them for less than 2.40# keeping in mind seperating the joints yourself can result in injury to employees and customers. The bones tend to be very sharp and an inexperienced person is likely to break them rather than cut them clean.

I wonder if you are comparing cooked to raw price? Raw looks a lot cheaper at first glance, but our experience when we tried it was that the savings was lost in waste, weight loss in cooking, added spices etc and labor.

The price of wings have held steady since SB Sunday. We’re all feeling it.

Totally agree with this we switched to a steamed wing about 3 years ago and ill never go back. The price for us had stayed pretty consistent too it almost never changes making setting the price much easier.


I would not stop serving split wings! Not only will your current customers expect the same wings they have always gotten from you, but almost all future customers will expect split wings when ordering. I know that the GFS Marketplace has raw, split, jumbo wings in a 40lb case for around $80.00 which equates to $2.00/lb. It may be a one day warehouse item or the store may carry the cases in their meat coolers but definitely check it out, I think you will be happy with the product.


make sure you know exactly what you are getting, the price seems to cheap for even a wing that you are going to have to split. Do they still have the tips on them? that’s going to be wasted. Are they frozen? make sure they are not bulk frozen in 10 lb chunks that you will have to defrost all at once and use within a day or two (chances are they were done that way right before or on their expiration date). are they fresh wings? can you use 40 pounds in a week?
normally I would never advocate cutting your own wings due to cross contaminaion and cutting the shelf life of the chicken. at that price, if they are not bulk frozen, I would even consider it.

I am sick of these high wing prices too. I am in the Buffalo area and use fresh Jumbo size wings 6-9/lb. I am paying 1.84/lb this week. Since Super Bowl it came down from $2.05/lb to $1.79 and now going back up. Where’s the relief?!

My distr. let me look at the case, yes they do have the tip attached, and they are frozen in bulk 40# case. I did not buy them yet, I am just at a crossroads trying to figure out if I should buy it at .69# = $27.80 a case, or continue to buy a 5# bag at a time at GFS which is $11.99. I really feel $80 a case from GFS is expensive, especially when I do not sell that much per week in the first place. What I have always been doing in the past was put the wings in a big pot with oil & butter, cook them off in my pizza oven for about 40 minutes, we have to cook to 165 degrees according to our health inspector, pull out drain, cool in cooler, then pre-portion into vac sealed bags & freeze half & keep other half in cooler, when I get an order I sauce up to order & finish cooking off in my oven at a temp of 165. I go thru about 5-8 lbs a week. I do not have a fryer. My customers like the wings that I do get-unbreaded, and sauced to order.

Like I said just at a crossroads, I do think it would turn my customers off if they were not seperated, I spoke to my business partner who feels we need to do what is best for use, and what ever saves us money, and feels we should by the wings that are attached, and break them down our self. It truely is cost efficient mmmm… $28 or $80???

Daisy not trying to minimize the entire situation…but we are talking about 1-2 five # bags a week at a cost of +/- $22 or so. Please dont get me wrong I know every penny is worth it when trying to make a business work…but this is not a money making item no matter what you are paying for wings. Selling 20-30 pounds of wings a month is probably not covering your labor you have invested into serving them. That said… this is such a small part of the big picture I would keep your current customers happy and change nothing! You might lose their pizza business just because they only get your pizza because they love your wings. Small group but they are all dollar signs! :mrgreen:

I needed to add after reading how your partner said go with the lesser wings… You are describing a $50 a month difference in price. Now the labor to break down the entire 40# box, cook all at once, waste, labor, cross contamination, etc…there is no way you are going to save a dime. My company looked into processing our own veggies way back in the day to save money. Instead of buying cleaned and cut to size in bulk 2000# totes…just buy direct and process. The raw cost was a 65% savings at the time. Now…we used hundreds of thousands of pounds of veggies a week! After a year long very hard look into this…we realized that we make soup not veggies. The waste on veggie processing is one third or more. Add labor and facilities…etc… and we could not do it for what we paid already.

Save yourself the obvious headaches of going this route and also…and not trying to sound mean… but if $50 a month is a make or break…I am sorry but you need to step back and really take a look at the entire operation and decide if you can afford to proceed and keep the business profitable. Bottom line is some make it and some do not. I hope yours does as I do for anyone that takes the risk to try…but I have also gone through the hard…VERY HARD… decision of accepting the truth… and stop losing money in a winless fight. Take the time and really ask is this discusion about wings or the entire business?

I agree, but confused on your last statement

“You might lose their pizza business just because they only get your pizza because they love your wings. Small group but they are all dollar signs!”

Are you saying I should drop the wings from my menu?? Or just continue paying $12 a bag?? I do think that if we do get the 40# case break them down our self, cut the tips off, cut them correctly into 1st & 2nd joints, and continue cooking the way we have been we would be ok and save money in the long run.
In the past when we first opened we were gong thru 40-60# a month and now with business being slow I just started buying on demand, but costly.

Daisy first take the big hard look and ask if this business is working and/or can work? If yes, then I am saying keep your current process because although you only sell 5-8#'s a week… maybe those people only come for your pizza because they also want your wings. If you change the wings… maybe those 5-8 orders a week go elsewhere for pizza and other wings? This still has me so very worried… if these 5-8 orders a week…and I am just guessing at an order being a pound or so… if these make or break you this is not working. Start asking yourself these questions.

So as I read it, the only change to your procedure would be cutting up the whole wing instead of buying it pre-prepped? Is that correct?

It looks like with just a bit of practice butchering wings could almost be fun:

Will the time needed to butcher 40lbs. of wings cost you $52?

Yes to your first question “cutting up the whole wing instead of buying it pre-prepped”.

I’m not sure that it would cost me “butcher 40lbs. of wings cost you $52”. As I am at the restaurant everyday early as it is, & I would end up doing the labor, I am usually the one anyways doing mostly all the prep anyway. Becuase I usually have alot of down time in am & early pm hrs

Looking at my suppliers online order guide, “disjointed” jumbo wings average 6-9 per pound while “whole” jumbo wings average 3-5 per pound. I don’t know exactly what “disjointed” or “whole” wings are but if disjointed wings are just whole wings butchered like described above, it would seem that 40 pounds of whole wings will only yield slightly over 20 pounds of disjointed wings. I would not have thought the waste would be so much but this needs to be factored into your decision every bit as much as the labor involved. My suggestion would be to buy a case and find out the amount of time needed to butcher them and the true cost per order. Sample them to your employees, family and friends to see if there is any problem with sharp bones ect and to make sure the flavor is as good as what you are serving now.

Brad I agree on the surface it looks like easy money to save but for what she uses and having to prepare and then package as she does and all of her steps…not too mention the waste that I think Paul is probably close with… yes she MIGHT save a few dollars but it is not the $52 or higher figure.

Again…I will just for her sake say it… if this is such a factor then there are other issues that need a whole lot more time invested than saving on 5 to 8 pounds of chicken a week! :!: :!: :!:

Daisy, you are nuts to be messing around with raw wings for such little volume. Buy fully cooked wings and run them through oven when ordered.

  1. Zero prep.
  2. Near Zero food safety issues.
  3. Easy handling IQF product allows you to thaw only what you need reducing waste.
  4. Much less cleaning issues for your surfaces, tools, oven/vent system and containers.
  5. Cut grease trap cleanings by 50% (our own direct experience)

The price difference is not what you think it is! After weight loss, waste, labor, extra cleaning expenses the raw wings simply are NOT cheaper for a low volume operation. Low volume to me means less than 50 LBS per DAY.

Take the time you save and go knock on doors in your business community, schools, clubs, teams etc to build your business. Taking an hour a week to prep wings rather than build your business is stepping over dollars to pick up nickles.