EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The heaping, six-pound “whole frittata” at Mother’s Cupboard Fish Fry includes four scrambled eggs.
Those eggs are racking up a sizable bill for consumers and businesses alike, due to a 2022 avian influenza outbreak.
“The egg prices are killing me, I’m gonna say,” Mother’s Cupboard co-owner Amy Easton said. “Like, if they don’t go down soon, I’m gonna have to raise ‘em.'”
Egg prices skyrocketed over 150% throughout 2022, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. For Easton’s restaurant, this means elevated operating costs.
“You look at my menu — 95% of my stuff has eggs on it,” Easton said.
One such menu item is the whole frittata, an Italian dish featuring a pile of eggs, pepperoni, peppers, potatoes, broccoli and more. The dish sells for $14.95 without cheese or $16.95 with cheese, and is advertised as six pounds of food.
The frittata appeared on the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food” in 2010 . Easton said the business “blew up” as the frittata’s popularity grew, and that the national television spot was a defining moment in her time at the restaurant.
“I had a daughter at 16,” Easton said. “I was smart, but I had to drop out of school; I’ve been working my whole life. At the time, you’re worried what you’re gonna be — to me, it was like, ‘we made it.'”
Easton and Pete Greene have co-owned Mother’s for 24 years. The tiny diner in Syracuse’s Eastwood neighborhood has changed very little in that span, despite challenges including COVID-19, hiring and now egg prices.
Egg prices declined 52% from their December peak to mid-February, according to research firm Urner Barry. Easton hopes the trend continues so she does not have to raise the menu prices.
“Right now we’re holding our own, so we’ll see where it goes in the future,” Easton said. “I hope those chickens start laying more eggs, that’s what I’m hoping.”