Omaha restaurants see rising egg cost due to supply chain, bird flu

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The sounds of a farm-fresh egg sizzling on the griddle fill Lula B’s kitchen in downtown Omaha.”We probably go through about 600 eggs per week,” Alyssa Roach, Lula B’s general manager, said.But right now, the restaurant is shelling out more money for its chicken eggs.”Just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a big price spike in eggs,” Roach said.UNL agricultural economics professor Dr. Elliott Dennis said demand is always higher ahead of Easter, on top of chronic labor shortages — egg prices are going up.”There’s potentially some supply issues that’s been happening from January, February that are working their way through,” Dennis said.And egg prices can be crucial to brunch spots such as Lula B’s — half of their menu is dedicated to eggs.Dennis said the supply chain itself can also tack on costs. Roach said Lula B’s was paying its distributor $23 for 15 cartons of eggs a few weeks ago — now they’re spending $35 for every 15.”We’ve had to shop around for a different distributor. It’s going to be more cost-effective to us,” Roach saidIn its latest news report, the USDA shows large egg prices around the nation have jumped from 160 cents per dozen in early January to 260 cents per dozen by April 4.Dennis says if more bird flu outbreaks pop up those prices will continue to rise.”When we’re talking about supply a lot of those birds that are potentially being decontaminated, and then we won’t see that supply impacts for four or five weeks,” Dennis saidLula B’s hopes it won’t have to increase its menu prices, but it has made adjustments to stay afloat in the past.”We’ve seen our peers in the restaurant industry increase their menu prices. We’ve had to do the same just to stay above water,” Roach said.

The sounds of a farm-fresh egg sizzling on the griddle fill Lula B’s kitchen in downtown Omaha.

“We probably go through about 600 eggs per week,” Alyssa Roach, Lula B’s general manager, said.

But right now, the restaurant is shelling out more money for its chicken eggs.

“Just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a big price spike in eggs,” Roach said.

UNL agricultural economics professor Dr. Elliott Dennis said demand is always higher ahead of Easter, on top of chronic labor shortages — egg prices are going up.

“There’s potentially some supply issues that’s been happening from January, February that are working their way through,” Dennis said.

And egg prices can be crucial to brunch spots such as Lula B’s — half of their menu is dedicated to eggs.

Dennis said the supply chain itself can also tack on costs. Roach said Lula B’s was paying its distributor $23 for 15 cartons of eggs a few weeks ago — now they’re spending $35 for every 15.

“We’ve had to shop around for a different distributor. It’s going to be more cost-effective to us,” Roach said

In its latest news report, the USDA shows large egg prices around the nation have jumped from 160 cents per dozen in early January to 260 cents per dozen by April 4.

Dennis says if more bird flu outbreaks pop up those prices will continue to rise.

“When we’re talking about supply a lot of those birds that are potentially being decontaminated, and then we won’t see that supply impacts for four or five weeks,” Dennis said

Lula B’s hopes it won’t have to increase its menu prices, but it has made adjustments to stay afloat in the past.

“We’ve seen our peers in the restaurant industry increase their menu prices. We’ve had to do the same just to stay above water,” Roach said.

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