McDonald's, Burger King, and Chipotle really want you to order chicken
Fast food companies are pushing chicken as beef prices continue to soar.
In an attempt to pad profits, McDonald's and Burger King are bringing back items like Chicken Selects and Chicken Fries, reports Jonathan Maze at Nation's Restaurant News.
McDonald's has brought back Chicken Selects two years after killing the item from the menu.
And Burger King brought back its beloved Chicken Fries for a limited time after fans pleaded for a decade to bring them back.
Burger King has hired a chicken named Gloria to decide whether certain Burger King locations will have chicken fries that day, a move that seems to hint at a wider release in the near future.
The two fast food companies have also been offering promotions on their classic chicken nuggets.
While chicken prices are falling, beef is at record highs.
The price increase isn't expected to let up until next year at the earliest.
"The margins you can get from pork and poultry are advantageous, especially versus beef. The markets are more stable. And you get higher profit," DeWayne Dove, vice-president of management for Denver-based food buying cooperative SpenDifference, told NRN.
Beef prices are also continuing to squeeze Chipotle's profit margins.
Steak and barbacoa burritos cost the company $1 more to make than alternatives like chicken or vegetarian, executives told investors during an earnings conference call.
Global droughts have led to a shortage of beef. Chipotle has started serving conventionally-raised steak in some markets to meet demand.
Consumers do eat some of that $1 cost. A steak or barbacoa burrito costs about 69 cents more in New York City. In cheaper markets like Ohio and Texas, customers pay about 40 cents more.
Chipotle executives said it could raise prices of beef items this summer if the shortage continues.
The burrito chain says that last time they raised prices on steak and barbacoa, they didn't see customers trade down to cheaper options.
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