Wendy’s restaurants have a beef shortage

Around 1,000, or 18%, of Wendy's 5,500 American restaurants do not serve hamburgers or anything else meat-based goods, according to an analysis of online menus at all locations conducted by the finance company Stephens. Wendy's is "more at risk" for the deficiency caused by the coronavirus pandemic due to its dependence on fresh beef compared to its competitors, the note states.
Wendys (WEN) said some of the menu items may be "temporarily restricted to some restaurants in this current environment." The company said the delivery schedule remains unchanged, but supply has been tight because beef suppliers across North America face production challenges during the pandemic.
Many meat suppliers have closed the factories temporarily because workers get sick from Covid-19.

"We work diligently to minimize the impact on our customers and restaurants, and continue to work with our supplier partners to monitor this closely," a Wendy spokeswoman said.

The company is scheduled to report earnings from the first quarter on Wednesday.


The severity of Wendy's deficiencies depends on the "geographical nature of process plant closures," wrote Stephens analyst James Rutherford. In states such as Ohio, Michigan and New York, around 30% of Wendy's is out of fresh meat. Other states, such as Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana, are not affected.

Wendy's online menus have changed in recent days: They emphasize chicken sandwich, Rutherford said in the note to investors.

Rutherford does not expect the beef shortage to hurt Wendy's profits if the shortage is resolved quickly. He also noticed Wendy's recently launched breakfast menu is "very profitable."
McDonalds (MCD) and Burger King did not immediately respond to comments about a shortage.

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