Egg prices continue to climb; restaurant owners adapt to the cost

Egg prices skyrocket
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 4:37 PM EST
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CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - As Avian Flu cases jump, so do the prices of eggs.

That makes life difficult for diners where eggs are a mainstay on the menu.

“Egg prices are through the roof, but we’re surviving,” said Dawn Lelakowski, Owner of Church Street Diner.

According to Lelakowski, egg expenses for the Church Street Diner in Carthage are at an all time high. Last year, 30 dozen eggs cost $45. In 2023, that price is now $147.

“So, I’ve been here for 24 years. This is the second time I’ve seen egg costs go over 100 dollars a case,” said Lelakowski.

Lelakowski says she’s somewhat optimistic that costs will go down, ironically, around Easter. She’s not sure if last year’s prices will ever return though.

“So, it’s hard to say what the future holds. It’s a farming industry. You never know what the industry is going to hold for a market value,” said Lelakowski.

For The Morning Ritual owner Paegan Thatcher, raising prices isn’t an option. It’s a new business and she wants to keep things affordable for potential regulars.

“So, you just kind of go with the flow and roll with the changes and hope that it calms down really fast,” said Thatcher.

Previously, Paegan had planned to expand her cafe’s menu in early 2023 to include breakfast sandwiches for her Carthage crowd, but with today’s prices she’ll wait.

“I don’t think that it’s feasible at the time to be able to do it where it’s cost effective,” said Thatcher.

If prices don’t drop soon, Paegan says she may need to start sourcing her eggs elsewhere.

“Well, they need to come down. Either that, or I’m going to need to start owning my own chickens. Those are the only options here, which I’ve considered,” said Thatcher.

With growing prices and shrinking profits, all restaurant owners can do now is watch and see if costs come back to a more affordable level.