NATIONAL NEWS

Wingstop could soon raise its own chickens

May 18, 2022, 1:42 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:15 pm
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 06: The Wingstop logo is seen on the front door of one of the company's res...
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 06: The Wingstop logo is seen on the front door of one of the company's restaurants on May 06, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicken prices have risen sharply this year as suppliers struggle to keep up with demand, fueled in part, by the popularity of new chicken offerings from fast-food restaurants. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Wingstop wants to lower its food supply costs. So it’s considering raising its own chickens.

Restaurant brands like Wingstop have struggled with their supply chains in recent years, as the Covid-19 pandemicextreme weather, and the war in Ukraine, among other factors, have tightened food supplies and sent prices soaring. That pain has been especially significant for a chain like Wingstop, which specializes in one type of food.

During an investor day Tuesday, the company discussed its efforts to strengthen its supply chain. One tactic is already in place: Making use of more parts of a chicken, a move it experimented with via “Thighstop,” a virtual brand that served crispy thighs to customers who ordered on a dedicated Thighstop website or through DoorDash. Those items have since been added to Wingstop’s regular menu.

Other potential solutions are now on the table, including becoming its own chicken supplier.

“There’s … scenarios that could include an acquisition of a small poultry complex or building our own poultry complex,” said Wingstop CFO Alex Kaleida during Tuesday’s event. “We’ve also worked with a third party to truly understand the end-to-end cost structure of a poultry complex and what it takes to run a facility from the feed to the grower out to the processing stage.”

Wing prices are volatile: In June of last year, when the company launched Thighstop, wholesale wing prices had spiked dramatically compared to the year prior. Although securing supply by investing in a poultry operation wouldn’t be cheap, Kaleida believes it would help Wingstop avoid sudden spikes in its chicken costs.

Wingstop estimates that one poultry complex could provide about 20% of its overall wing purchases.

Securing its chicken supply chain could be “potentially game-changing” for the company, Wedbush restaurant analyst Nick Setyan said in a note Tuesday. That’s because better clarity on food costs could encourage more operators to open Wingstop franchises, fueling growth.

In the first quarter, Wingstop added 60 restaurants, a record. Sales at stores open at least a year ticked up by 1.2% in that period.

If Wingstop moves forward with its plan to open a poultry plant, it will be following in the footsteps of big box stores including Walmart and Costco.

A few years ago, Walmart opened a meatpacking operation in Georgia to cut, package and label its own brand of steaks and roasts for regional stores. Costco has also developed its own farm-to-store poultry production operation in Nebraska to supply its popular rotisserie chicken offering.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Authorities stand guard by a fence outside the Supreme Court following Supreme Court's decision to ...
DÁNICA COTO and CARA ANNA Associated Press

US abortion ruling sparks global debate, polarizes activists

The end of constitutional protections for abortions in the United States has pemboldened abortion opponents around the world, while advocates of abortion rights worry the Supreme Court ruling could threaten recent moves toward legalization in their countries.
23 hours ago
NASA's first spacecraft designed to study a metallic asteroid won't be launching this year as plann...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA’s Psyche mission to an unexplored metal world comes to a halt

NASA's first spacecraft designed to study a metallic asteroid won't be launching this year as planned, according to an announcement made by the agency on Friday.
23 hours ago
Meeting of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with representatives of foreign media. (Ukrainia...
Associated Press

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts
23 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Jacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images)...
MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

Moderna COVID-19 shots now an option for older kids in US

There is now a second COVID-19 option for kids ages 6 to 17 in the U.S.
23 hours ago
Abortion-rights and Anti-Abortion rights activists fill first street in front of the U.S. Supreme C...
Cindy St. Clair

How abortion laws will change in states surrounding Utah

The Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health allows states to reshape abortion laws. Utah’s trigger law will restrict abortion in most cases. Here’s a look at what laws will look like in surrounding intermountain states.
23 hours ago
A United Airlines plane lands at San Francisco International Airport on March 07, 2022 in San Franc...
DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer

Pilots in line for big raises amid global travel disruptions

The largest pilots union has approved a contract that would boost the pay of pilots at United Airlines by more than 14% over the next 18 months, potentially clearing the way for similar wage hikes throughout the industry.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Wingstop could soon raise its own chickens