Impossible Foods’ need to ramp up production is public knowledge. Last month, the company behind the acclaimed plant-based Impossible Burger announced it had secured $300 million in fresh funding, primarily to keep up with “scorching demand.” That’s a lot of money for expansion. And yet, the Impossible rollouts have just kept coming. A week later, the meatless brand had announced a new partnership with Little Caesars for a vegan sausage topping, and earlier this week, the Impossible Whopper was added to over 100 Burger King locations around San Francisco. So while Impossible might be the hot partnership that everyone is interested, some of the early adopters are reportedly facing a different reality: shortages.
Both White Castle — the first major fast food chain to serve Impossible patties — and Red Robin — Impossible’s largest casual dining partner — are finding it impossible to meet their plant-based meat demand, according to a report yesterday from Bloomberg. “Calls to a dozen Red Robins and the same number of White Castles on Thursday found that only two locations of each chain had Impossible Foods Inc.’s patties available, with no consensus from the others on when they’d get them back,” the financial site wrote. “Individual locations from New York to Hillsboro, Oregon, with the burger on their menu told customers this week that they’re fresh out.”
Headlines of Impossible Burger shortages are nothing new. Smaller restaurants have been talking about it for months. But Bloomberg’s research does point out the potential hypocrisy of leaving the initial supporters behind while moving on to newer — and bigger — partnerships. The site also reached out to a number of Burger King locations serving the Impossible Whopper, and none of them were seeing signs of a shortage: “Every Burger King location contacted by Bloomberg, including those in St. Louis, Miami; Montgomery, Alabama; and Columbus, Georgia, said the patties were in stock.”
None of this is to imply that Impossible Foods isn’t trying their best. When you’re the hottest ticket in town, your shows are often sold out: That’s just the nature of the beast. Still, there’s a takeaway here for consumers, too: If you’re heading out to a restaurant specifically to get an Impossible Burger, for the time being, it might behoove you to think like a Bloomberg reporter and call ahead.