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Restaurant owners feeling the pinch as egg prices continue to dramatically rise

Restaurant owners feeling the pinch as egg prices continue to dramatically rise
Restaurant owners feeling the pinch as egg prices continue to dramatically rise 03:23

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Whether they're scrambled, poached, fried, or over easy, eggs are the foundation of breakfast, but lately restaurants and cooks have been looking for alternatives as egg prices have soared.

Bubbling in the omelette pan, frying on the grill, served up steaming hot on virtually every plate at Kelly O's diner, eggs are the stars. 

There's even one featured on their sign and logo.


Kelly O'Connor's diner uses a lot of eggs. 

"It's not fair. It's really not," O'Connor said. "The price is astronomical at this point. In 2019, they were $10 for 15 dozen. They were $78 for 15 dozen this week."


That price difference is a budget buster, but O'Connor says she doesn't want to change her prices.

"I want everybody to be comfortable with the prices that we charge for breakfast," O'Connor said.

The recent spike in prices isn't an issue just for restaurants, however. It's in the grocery store, too.

A year ago, you could get a dozen eggs for less than $2, but now it's well over $4 per dozen -- all caused by Avian Bird Flu, which results in an infected egg farm's hens being destroyed.

Last year was crippling to the egg industry, but the flocks are slowly coming back, and so is the egg supply, but it's coming back very slowly.

"We have been through everything, we will get through this," O'Connor said.

The question is how long will it take for egg prices to return to more normal levels?

"What we are being charged for eggs is not fair," O'Connor said. "Not for any of us. Not for me as someone selling eggs for a living or every family across America. It's not fair."

The FDA, which monitors the supply and costs of eggs says the price per dozen has taken a slight turn for the cheaper this week, but it's still only slight, with a long way to go towards becoming reasonable again. 

While the recent spike in pricing was due to the Avian Flu, supply and demand also plays an issue with holiday baking boosting the demand. Consumer baking demand has fallen a bit, but now comes the health craze demand as people turn to eggs with their New Year's diets. 

So, don't expect a dramatic drop anytime soon. 

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