The coronavirus outbreak has caused a substantial reduction in the nation’s meat processing capacity, down 30-40% from last year’s levels. Retail stores have been feeling the pinch for weeks and now some fast-food restaurants are being impacted.
This week, national news stories have been saying that a significant number of Wendy’s restaurants are running short of beef. However, here in Northern Ag Network country Wendy’s customers currently do not have to wonder “Where’s the beef?”
Jonna Jones, Director of Marketing for Wentana, A Wendy’s franchisee based in Billings, MT, confirmed that nationally the chain is experiencing a beef shortage. That’s due in part because the company only serves fresh, never frozen burgers.
“The good news is none of our Wendy’s locations in Montana as well as Cody and Sheridan, WY and Dickinson, ND are currently out of beef,” says Jones. “We have made a few items temporarily unavailable to help alleviate some of the stress on our beef supply, but we are not out.”
“Customers can still get most of their favorite beef items like a Dave’s Single or Double and even our famous Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. All of the items we have made unavailable will be back on the menu soon,” Jones says. She also added that Wendy’s has made available some promotions for chicken nuggets and sandwiches and are now serving breakfast too.
Despite the supply issues that come with serving fresh beef, a Wendy’s corporate spokesperson says they have no plans to serve hamburgers from frozen beef. Switching to frozen beef would create other supply chain challenges and how workers prepare burgers would have to change as well.
The restaurants that are being impacted by the shortage of beef are primarily located in the Midwest and East Coast.
Northern Ag Network