Sky high cost of eggs forcing Arizona breakfast restaurants to raise prices
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Bob Thomas and his bike-riding buddies get together once a week for exercise and a good breakfast. It’s a meal that’s getting more and more expensive. “We’ve definitely seen prices increasing,” said Thomas. “A couple years ago, we could eat for $6 to $7, and now it’s $15.”
The high price of eggs is driving up menu prices at many of the Valley’s favorite breakfast joints, making it difficult for some restaurant owners to make ends meet. Laura Call took over the Nosh Cafe in Ahwatukee a few months ago. Eggs costed $60 a case, then jumped to more than $80 a case.
Cutting back on eggs is not an option. “Our breakfast burritos, they have eggs,” said Call. “All our breakfast sandwiches have eggs, all of our plates pretty much have eggs, so if there’s no eggs, we can not have a business.” Several grocery stores are currently selling eggs for $7, $8, or even $9 a dozen.
According to the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, the high egg prices are directly related to the avian bird flu. It has wiped out millions of birds nationwide, limiting the number of eggs available while driving up prices. Another factor is a new Arizona law that took effect this year that requires chickens to be raised in cage-free environments, limiting who retailers can buy eggs from. “If you buy from conventional egg farmers, you might have more options,” said Julie Murphree with the AFBF. “But here in Arizona now, the only type of eggs we can purchase are cage-free eggs.”
Restaurant owners like Call can take comfort in knowing her breakfast customers are still showing up for their eggs and omelettes. “Eggs are great,” said customer Barb Crassweller. “I think I’ll pay a little bit more for good food.”
Egg prices have come down from their record high in December. However, prices are still three times more than they were two years ago.
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