Meat Shortage Forced Wendy’s to Change Menu

Due to shortages of meat, Wendy’s (WEN) has been forced to take burgers off the menu in some restaurants, due to the coronavirus pandemic. This decision was a ‘hard pill’ for Wendy’s to swallow. Following the recent development, many of its customers took to social media to complain and express their disappointment with the restaurant’s inability to provide customers with the regular menu.

However, Wendy’s app shows that chicken items are available for takeout or delivery orders in a few of its California branches. Wendy’s 1980s catchphrase, “Where’s the beef?” has been brought back by disappointed customers who have been asking for “the beef.”

Only a short while back, Wendy’s took pride in its “fresh-never-frozen” beef against its top competitors, McDonald’s and Burger King. Its catchy Spotify song “We Beefin?” is a question many are now asking the restaurant as it faces “beef” challenges like the rest of its competitors.  

With respect to this “problem”, Wendy’s spokesperson in an interview with The Independent said it was no news that beef suppliers across North America were currently facing some challenges with production. However, they try their best to get as much beef as they can lay their hands on.

“We continue to supply hamburgers to all of our restaurants, with deliveries two or three times a week, which is consistent with normal delivery schedules.”

In as much as Wendy’s is doing its best to keep up with its regular menu, the restaurant said that some of its “menu items may be temporarily limited at some restaurants in this current environment.” The spokesperson also added that they are “working diligently to minimize the impact” to their restaurants and customers, and to continue to closely work with their supplier partners.

As customers continue to pressure Wendy’s for meat, there’s only little Wendy’s could do to control the meat shortage. The meatpacking industry is more challenged with an increasing demand for meat yet can do nothing about it for the time being. Some of the largest US meatpacking companies have been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The meatpacking industry is considered to be one of the most vulnerable industries that can easily promote the further spread of the Covid-19. This is as a result of its close proximity and “hazardous” working conditions.

Since the outbreak started in the US, over 21 major meatpacking plants have been forced to close down, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. This followed after many workers at meatpacking plants started testing positive for the coronavirus. At least 20 the plant processing workers that tested positive for the Covid-19 have died. This has since caused a strain in the US food supply chain.

As cities and states begin to reopen, demand for basic amenities like restaurants, gyms, banks, etc., is on the increase. Many of these service providers are devising new techniques to run their regular businesses while maintaining health precautions to avoid spread of the virus.

President Trump announced last Tuesday that he plans to sign an executive order to reopen the meatpacking industry under strict regulations of the Defence Production Act. This would enable plants to resume production under closely monitored conditions.

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