The supply chain crisis isn't just impacting holiday shopping, but a beloved dinner favorite: chicken tenders. According to NBC Today, chicken tenders may face a potential shortage, resulting in higher prices at grocery stores and restaurants.

This crisis is mostly due to supply chain issues and the labor intensive nature of processing chicken tenders combined with a lack of food workers. The global supply chain —which has taken a hit thanks to the pandemic — continues to ripple. In the U.S., it's further exacerbated by a lack of food workers and poor worker protections, as stated in NBC Today.

Facing pressure, a few large companies such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and A&W have stopped advertising their crispy chicken products to limit their sales in fear of running out.

“There is no safe harbor in the supply chain right now, we see it across the board, but certainly you feel the pain the most in tenders." said Brian Morris, the culinary vice president of iconic Nashville-based fast-food chain, Hattie B's Hot Chicken.

Chicken tenders are a staple in many American households, restaurants, schools and cafeterias. They’re a safe food product that satisfies picky children, struggling college students, and adults on-the-go. Even more, it's most commonly sold in affordable fast-food restaurants and grocery stores, meaning a shortage could disproportionately affect lower income families and communities.

Another reason why chicken tenders face a higher risk of shortage: they’re much more difficult to process and package as opposed to chicken nuggets. Tenders are made from a small filet piece of the chicken breast rather than chicken scraps, according to CBS News and chicken industry experts. It also requires processing plants to “debone” the chicken. Moreover, there’s been a nearly one dollar increase in the price of chicken tender “value packs” since last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A simple supply-and-demand issue may be the final conclusion in determining the reasons behind the panic for many chicken tender-selling establishments. Notable fast-food chains that could run into problems include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chick-Fil-a, McDonald’s, and Popeyes. According to a Chick-Fil-a spokesperson, there are no widespread outages of chicken within the company, but individual restaurants may face issues soon. While KFC claimed they were facing supply shortages, a spokesperson told Spoon University that the product supply has “improved.”

While this news is unfortunate for the fast-food industry, plant based alternatives continue to be available and a good (affordable) option. Morningstar and Beyond Meat — two plant-based meat alternative companies —are viable alternatives. Beyond Meat specifically sells their plant based chicken tenders at $4.99 a box, available at select grocery stores and restaurants. For more in the world of plant based chicken, Morningstar offers four veggie “chicken” patties for the price of $3.84, available at Walmart and select restaurants. Usually inaccessible, the products' entrance into Walmart could be a solution for low-income families and communities who rely on cheaper food from big chains.