Wingstop Is Pivoting to Chicken Thighs Amid a Looming Chicken Wing Shortage

Thighstop, Wingstop's newest venture, is all about juicy thighs.

Photos courtesy of Wingstop/Illustration by Grace Han/Thrillist

There's a chicken wing shortage looming, which could spell disaster for eateries everywhere. Places like Wingstop, which focus on, well, wings, will be hit especially hard if the country's supply gets sparse. However, the company had an innovative solution to the possible problem: Sell chicken thighs instead.

Wingstop's newest culinary concept is called Thighstop. The virtual brand, which launched yesterday, is available via app at more than 1,400 Wingstop locations nationwide, on the company's website, or through DoorDash. Thighstop is serving up crispy chicken thighs either naked or drenched in one of Wingstop's 11 sauces, and will have both bone-in thighs as well as breaded boneless thighs. For sides, there's fresh-cut, seasoned fries, fried corn, and rolls. 

"Wingstop pioneered the concept of chicken wings as a center-of-the-plate item. Although Thighstop is in its infancy, we've been exploring bone-in and boneless thighs as center-of-the-plate options for some time now as a way to offer fans new ways to enjoy Wingstop's bold, distinctive and craveable flavors," Charlie Morrison, Thighstop CEO, said in a statement. "We're excited to bring Thighstop to the masses in a way that's familiar and convenient to consumers by providing the option of delivery or carryout through our delivery partner DoorDash."

The chicken shortage has been hanging over restauranteurs' heads for a while now. Throughout the pandemic, millions of people across the nation turned to comfort foods and restaurants were there to meet the demand. In factories, though, the pandemic took a toll. Some meat processing plants were shut down while others faced short staffing due to sick employees. Winter Storm Uri, which hit Texas in February, further hindered meat plants' output. As a result, chicken suppliers struggled to churn out enough meat to meet the public's needs and the US is still grappling with it today.

In May, Tom Super of the National Chicken Council told CBS News that supplies were low but had not yet reached shortage levels. He cautioned, however, that we were close. Should the chicken supply in America dwindle further, poultry lovers should expect to go without some of their favorite chicken products or pay steep prices for them. Hopefully, it won't come to that, but it's better to plan ahead. Get your chicken fix while you can.

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it—find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.