Burger bind: Online menus show that 1,043 Wendy's restaurants are out of beef.
As the coronavirus pandemic puts strain on the meat production industry, fast-food burger chain Wendy's is starting to feel the pinch. An analyst with private financial services firm Stephens Inc. stated that a review of Wendy's online menus across the country showed that 1,043 of the chain's U.S. restaurants (roughly 18 percent) show that beef items are out of stock.
We did a bit of our own research and found that Wendy's locations that are running short simply leave all beef items off their online menu without explanation.
For instance, this is the screenshot of the online combos menu for a Wendy's in Tennessee:
No beef in sight.
The shortages vary depending on the state. In addition to Tennessee, it seems that the beef shortages are also affecting Wendy's locations in New York, Ohio, and Michigan.
“It is widely known that beef suppliers across North America are currently facing production challenges,” Wendy’s spokeswoman Heidi Schauer said in a statement. “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. However, some of our menu items may be temporarily limited at some restaurants in this current environment.”
In mid-April, two of the U.S.'s seven largest meat production plants temporarily closed due to some employees becoming infected with COVID-19 and the remaining employees being put under quarantine. That resulted in an estimated 25 percent decline in cattle processing.
While this shortage has the potential to affect any fast-food burger chain, we find it ironic that Wendy's was the originator of the "Where's the Beef?" catchphrase, which was first used in a 1984 ad campaign:
Has your local Wendy's run out of beef? Have you experienced any shortages at other chain restaurants? Tell us in the comments!