Is there a wing shortage ahead of the Super Bowl?

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – If you want to chow down on chicken wings while watching the Super Bowl LV, a Tampa restaurant owner says you should try ordering sooner rather than later.

“We’ve done pretty well so we’re just hoping to get our wings to everybody,” said John “Papa” Castaneda, the owner of McDivot’s Wings and Raw Bar.

He told WFLA-TV in Tampa the available supply of wings might not be able to meet the big demand.

“Prices always go up,” he said, “but we’ve never had an amount problem. We’ve always been able to get the quantity we needed. This is the first time I’ve seen this.”

Demand for wings always goes up around the Super Bowl, but a wholesale supplier in Florida told WFLA it is harder to meet that demand this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the poultry industry.

It’s worth noting wing shortages were reported in both 2013 and 2015. In each of those years, there was enough chicken to go around.

Nevertheless, a sign on the door at McDivot’s lets customers know they should pre-order wings as soon as possible.

“Because our great Bucs are in, we’re doing everything can,” Castaneda explained. “Normally, we do 30 cases of wings on a regular Super Bowl. We were hoping to do 60. They’re telling us hopefully we can get 25.”

To save for Super Bowl Sunday, he is considering putting some poultry in the freezer.

“I’ve never sold a frozen wing here in 22 years,” Castaneda said. “But we want to make sure the locals get what they need.”

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