Iowa has been hit the hardest when it comes to highly pathogenic avian influenza and now restaurants are starting to pay the consequences.

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The combination of the bird flu and supply chain issues from COVID-19 has created the perfect storm for Subway sandwiches as they try to source the meat for their sandwiches.

The bird flu, which has impacted over 13 million commercial turkeys and chickens in Iowa, has led to one plant being temporarily shut down- leaving Subway operators scrambling to source the sliced turkey they need.

According to Restaurant Business, the top-selling sub in the US is Subway’s 6-inch turkey sub.

But this isn’t the only shortage the franchise has been dealing with.

During the pandemic, Subway did move away from using roast beef, however, that decision is coming back to haunt them when they went through a menu refresh.

On top of that, the company is dealing with increasing costs. This year, meat prices are 25 percent higher than what was expected and labor costs are rising.

Some locations have even opted to stop accepting paper and digital coupons as a result of this.

In a statement from the company, a spokesperson said;

The supply chain challenges that continue to impact the entire industry, as well as ongoing inflation, have led to protein price increases. We are working with our franchisees to provide guidance on managing incremental costs, which includes balancing the value proposition for our guests while ensuring franchisee profitability.”

Last month the USDA predicted poultry prices would sour by 7.5 and 8.5 percent this year and wholesale bird prices up as much as 27.9 percent in March—all because of the bird flu.

This forced Subway to raise its prices.

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