Burger blackouts mean it might be time to moo-ve on from a drive-thru fave

The Wendy’s “fresh, never frozen” promise left the chain lacking necessary supplies.


May 6, 2020

Fast foodies in California were dismayed to discover this week that some Wendy’s outposts were without their signature item: hamburgers.

So, uh, where’s the beef?

Those of us vintage enough to remember ads from the ’80s might recall Wendy’s @ing competitors like McDonald’s and Burger King for their puny burgers.

But now the joke’s on Wendy’s, whose “fresh, never frozen” promise has left the chain lacking very necessary supplies.

Analysts estimate that 1 in 5 Wendy’s restaurants can’t get beef. Shortages tend to occur by region depending on an outpost’s proximity to meat processing plants.

In states like New York, Ohio, and Michigan, there’s nary a Dave’s Single to be had. Arizona, Louisiana, and Nevada — at least for now — are still getting their Baconator on.

BK and Mickey D’s, meanwhile, boast of bountiful beef

The whole sitch has shed light on vulnerabilities within North America’s meat-supply chain. If you’re relying on fresh meat, you might have more disruptions than a competitor who can buy frozen products from Australia and other countries.

In the meantime, Wendy’s is pushing chicken sandwiches. And its new breakfast menu is highly profitable, so it’s too early to say whether they’re out… or even down.

Wendy’s ain’t the only one missing its meat

Last month, about a dozen slaughterhouses shut down after workers started getting sick from COVID-19. This means shortages of not only beef — but also pork and chicken.

Costco announced a temporary limit on the amount of meat customers can buy. Kroger and Giant Eagle stores also have put caps on the amount of meat customers can pick up at some of their locations.

But that’s OK. As the wise Madonna once put it, we’re… like a vegan.

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