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Local businesses feeling impacts of high egg prices

Local businesses feeling impacts of high egg prices
Posted at 5:57 PM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-04 21:55:02-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Local restaurant owners are feeling the impacts of higher egg prices, and soon it’ll also impact customers who are dining at those restaurants.

Some business owners told News5 that prices have more than tripled in the past year or so. The owner of Omelets Etc. says they’re paying more than three times what they were paying before.

A case of 30 dozen eggs currently costs $180. Before, it cost $50 for the same size case.

That means some owners are choosing to raise prices on their menus while others are simply trying to ride it out.

“We paid well under $2 a dozen for eggs a year ago, and now we're around $5 for the same eggs. It really hits our bottom line,” said Vicky and Rob Fraley, who own Doug’s Breakfast Lunch.

The two say they haven’t raised their menu prices in eight years, but they have to make changes to their menu now in order to make ends meet at their restaurant.

“We’re looking at about a 10% increase across the board. Eggs have gone up a lot more than that, but we're just hoping to slow the leak and keep the bleeding down,” the Fraley’s said.

The Avian Flu is a major reason for the rise. Six million chickens have been euthanized in Colorado because of the virus.

Inflation is another reason, as egg producers are paying more for things like chicken feed, and that cost gets passed on to consumers. Plus, a new Colorado law requiring large grocery chains to only sell cage-free eggs is also expected to raise prices.

“Eggs went through the roof, and we're hitting $150 a case now, which is like, six, seven times than we normally ordered. It's outrageous,” said Vincent Prymus, the owner of Wade’s Cafe.

At Wade’s Cafe, about half of their breakfast menu contains eggs. It’s not just eggs and omelets, either. Eggs are also used for pancakes, French toast, and waffles.

“I probably go through, during the busy season, around 6,000 eggs a week, give or take, so that's almost 1,000 a day,” said Prymus.

Small, locally-owned businesses are still dealing with prices of other foods going up. If those trends continue, Prymus says he'll also have to change his menu prices, even though changing the menus is yet another cost to his business.

“Hopefully, we can ride it out. We’ll see. I’m pretty much at my limit right now. If it goes much further, it's probably going to have to happen, unfortunately,” said Prymus.

Others have also faced egg shortages in their deliveries, hoping something will change soon.

“If we don't get our eggs delivered to us, we have to go, like everyone else, running to different stores and buying up everything we can,” said the Fraley's. “It’s rough. We've kicked around. Maybe we need to do our own chickens at our house.”

Restaurant owners also said it’s hard to tell what the immediate impact of the new Colorado state law will be in the weeks and months moving forward. They also mentioned that right now, they haven't seen any relief in sight for egg inflation.

According to the Consumer Price Index, average egg prices increased by 49% in November 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

This time last year, consumers paid around $1.70 for a dozen eggs. Now it’s averaging around $3.60. That’s according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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