Where's the beef, indeed.
The financial firm Stephens on Tuesday estimated that about 18 percent of Wendy's restaurants in the United States are not selling hamburgers after running out of beef during the coronavirus crisis, CNN reports. This was based on an analysis of their online menus.
Numerous meat plants have closed temporarily in recent weeks after workers contracted COVID-19, and according to The New York Times, there has been a 10 percent reduction in beef slaughter capacity. The analysis Tuesday said that Wendy's is particularly exposed to these recent production issues due to its use of fresh beef.
A spokesperson for Wendy's told CNBC, "It is widely known that beef suppliers across North America are currently facing production challenges" and that "some of our menu items may be temporarily limited at some restaurants in this current environment," though the spokesperson added that "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."
According to CNBC, the shortages vary by state, but hundreds of locations in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and New York are out of beef.
This comes after the chair of Tyson Foods recently took out an advertisement in The New York Times arguing "the food supply chain is breaking" during the coronavirus crisis and warning that "as pork, beef, and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain."