If you are in Cape Town and expecting eggs for breakfast, you might soon have to find a plan B.
With more than 60% of layer hens culled in the last few weeks, the dire chicken and egg shortage in the Western Cape is not just affecting consumers, but also the hospitality industry.
While some establishments have put measures in place to ensure they don’t run out of eggs, don’t be alarmed if the breakfast menu at your favourite restaurant looks a little different.
With the official holiday season just a few weeks away, the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA) Cape region says member establishments have measures in place to ensure they’re not affected by the egg shortage following the outbreak of avian flu.
To-date around three million birds have already been affected by the H5N8 strain of bird flu, bringing with it an egg shortage.
FEDHASA Cape region says visitors to Cape Town need not be alarmed, as their members have measures in place to ensure the outbreak of avian flu does not affect them.
FEDHASA Cape chairperson, Jeff Rosenberg says: “Cape Town’s restaurants and hotels are doing very well despite the shortage.
“And we’d like for them to use it as a platform to come up with new, fresh ideas on how to cook and bake.
“During times like these, innovation is important.”
In the Western Cape in particular, the price of eggs has increased substantially.
Rosenberg says while members are concerned about the outbreak, every endeavour has been taken to make sure establishments are not hard hit, and that the price of egg-containing dishes, like breakfasts and confectionary items are not increased, especially as the province’s hospitality industry prepares for a bumper holiday season.
“As an industry we are deeply concerned about this outbreak and the consequences thereof. “We continue to weigh our options for alternatives should this escalate further,” Rosenberg says.
Establishments like the Roundhouse Restaurant in Camps Bay have not included any new egg dishes to its menu, and the establishment continues to investigate the use of egg-free alternatives, especially as an adaption to its breakfast menu on a Saturday and Sunday morning.
The Roundhouse recognises that increasing the price of dishes that contain egg might be necessary, but will not allow the increase to become unaffordable and unsustainable.
The Townhouse Hotel and Events Centre in the CBD has increased its order to keep-up with the demand. This establishment uses around 360 eggs a day, but admits that it's been minimally affected.