PUNTERS at Wetherspoon may notice a big change to breakfast menus as the chain is hit by an egg shortage.
Britain’s biggest chain of boozers is blaming the “temporary supply issues” on the current impact of Avian flu on egg production.
It comes after senior supermarket sources told The Sun that they were in urgent talks about how to cope with an egg crisis.
The shortage of eggs has been partly caused by another outbreak of avian flu but also a delayed knock-on impact from millions of birds dying during the summer’s heatwave.
Wetherspoon said customers are being offered alternative items such as hash browns, sausage or onion rings in pubs where eggs are unavailable.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We can confirm that there are temporary issues with egg supplies at some Wetherspoon pubs, due to the current impact of Avian flu on egg production.
“We are experiencing issues in receiving all the supplies we require to satisfy demand in every pub.
“This is not specific to Wetherspoon and other hospitality operators and supermarkets are facing similar issues.”
In August the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs had said that it was “deeply concerned” about the scale of chicken mortalities in industrial chicken sheds as birds died from heat exhaustion when temperatures reached record highs.
It is understood that a lot of the birds that died were broiler chickens – those reared for consumption rather than laying eggs.
The problems have been exacerbated by a number of farmers exiting the industry, with fewer laying hens than ever before, because rising costs has meant that it is harder to make a profit.
But this is not the first time Wetherspoon has been hit by shortages.
Spoons customers were left fuming when the chain ran out of ketchup due to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
And supply chain issues meant some pubs ran out of booze as food and restaurant chains were hit by supply chain issues last year.
In May, Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin warned of a slew of major changes as a result of increased labour, food and energy costs.
It included various price hikes, with the price of beer in some pubs by up to 29% – leaving customers furious.
It’s estimated that the pub chain, known for it’s cheap drinks, employs up to 43,000 people across the UK.
According to it’s websites it boasts almost 900 pubs in towns and cities across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, having opened its first establishment in 1979.