BUFFALO, N.Y. — For Howling Rooster owner Caren Paterniti, the profits at breakfast no longer come in over easy.
“I’ve seen eggs come up, but never like this never like this,” she said. “It's just insane
The Howling Rooster’s owner has seen her breakfast profit plummet by 50% due to a nationwide rise in egg costs, with the average price of a dozen eggs now ringing in at $4.25 — up from just $1.79 a year ago.
"We went from purchasing something that was so affordable to astronomical,” Paterniti said.
Just like anything else on the grocery store shelves, the skyrocketing eggs prices come as a result of inflation and increased labor costs.
But experts are saying there’s more too it.
“Something that has happened in the last year, we've seen an especially harsh strain of the bird or avian flu,” said Charles Lindsey, Associate Professor at UB’s School of Management.
The outbreak has killed 58 million turkeys and chickens in the past 12 months, becoming the deadliest case of bird flu in U.S history.
“When demand stays the same and supply is reduced, that puts significant upward pressure on prices,” Lindsey said.
With no real substitute for eggs, restaurant owners are left to pay the price and do everything they can not to crack.
“If I was to increase the price to compensate for the amount of money that we're spending on eggs, it will put us out of business because no one's gonna pay it,” Paterniti said.