What is happening with all the Slim Chickens postings on social media and the myriad of local Lawton Facebook pages all of a sudden? Did something happen?

Randomly scrolling through my feeds today during lunch to see something about Slim Chickens issuing a public apology about their chicken, and hoards of people both defending and attacking them at the same time. Have there been chinanigans?

In a very lengthy and otherwise wholehearted shared post, the proprietors of your Lawton Slim Chickens appear to be addressing reviews from across the web about the recent issues customers have expressed about the things they've experienced at L-Towns newest chicken joint. Expecting it to be the normal "We hated/love this place," it had more or less to do with the size of their chicken tendies as of late.

A controversy that goes off like a discount bottle rocket.

Are people really complaining about chicken tender sizes? Granted, it's been over a decade since the last big economic downturn so there's a whole group of 20-something-year-olds that haven't "felt" an economic squeeze like this yet.

In simple terms, think of chicken as currency. When inflation rises, you get less chicken for your money, and that's not a decision that happens at the restaurant level. McDonald's isn't cutting the 10-piece back to just 8 nuggies over the financial disaster our national politics and the world's current events... It's the chicken producers that are putting the squeeze on everyone else.

This very thing happened on a smaller scale back around 2010-2012, and it has more to do with beef. I'll explain.

Chicken is an American staple. It's not only the cheap lean protein but almost every single person in this country likes it. It's literally a perfect meat... but it's not an everyday meat for most since we also really love our beef in this country, but it's the beef industry issues that are creating the chicken industry issues.

When the prices of steak and beef rise, what do people do? They buy the delicious yet cheaper chicken instead. If beef goes high enough, the demand for chicken skyrockets, and the simple answer isn't to just raise prices, I'll tell you why.

Like all foods, chickens have to be grown and that takes time. So when you have a big influx of popularity, the pressure is put to producers to grow those chickens as fast as possible. In order to keep up with demand, the size of those chickens progressively gets smaller as the emphasis is put on quantity more so than quality.

It sucks, but that is how every industry works.

My generation experienced this same economic situation for the first time around a decade ago. We walked into Buffalo Wild Wings for our weekly Wing-Day bro-lunch and when the meals came to the table, the wings were half the regular size. We had a conversation about it with our server, but overall the food wasn't what bro-lunch was or is still about... it was about sharing an hour with the boys you don't ordinarily get to see very often due to normal life, spouses, kids, and work.

As the economic issues subsided, the wings gradually came back into what we would consider normal specs.

Whether it's chicken tendies at Slim Chickens or the insane prices of meat at the grocery store, this is the economic storm we must all weather together.

I can't tell you when, but things will improve. They always do. It might be after the midterm elections, it might be after the next presidential cycle, but things will get better. In the meantime, if the chicken you've had prepared for you isn't seen as an economic blessing that's up to your own personal standards, always feel free to stay home and fry it up yourself.

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