Amid the ongoing coronavirus, there is one sign of hope, at least for fast food lovers. On Monday, Wendy's announced that its beef shortage is almost over. The news came in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday, in which the company claimed that "at this point in time, beef supply has returned to near-normal levels across the Wendy's system," according to CNN Business. That timeline falls in line with one put out by Wendy's CEO Todd Penegor, who said last month that "the company would probably experience a "couple of weeks of challenging tightness" before returning to normal.
The beloved fast food chain, known for its fresh, never frozen beef, began experiencing a beef shortage in late April and into early May. During that time, some fast food lovers in California started to notice that the Wendy's app showed that only chicken items were available for takeout or delivery orders. Similar shortages appeared in Kentucky, where a location in Hazard, Kentucky, stated that some items were unavailable.
In a statement to WYMT, the fast food chain explained that "beef suppliers across North America are currently facing production challenges," and due to that, "some of our menu items may be in short supply from time to time at some restaurants in this current environment." The statement added that Wendy's expected "this to be temporary, and we're working diligently to minimize the impact to our customers and restaurants."
As a result of the shortage, analysts estimated in May that nearly one in five of Wendy's restaurants were out of beef. That meant that approximately 1,000, or 18 percent, of the chain's 5,500 US restaurants were not serving any hamburgers or other meat-based items. Although the shortage more heavily impacted Wendy's due to its reliance on fresh beef, it was far from the only fast food chain impacted.
In April, McDonald's Canada announced that it would be removing Angus burgers from its menus and importing beef due to beef shortages. The announcement was made in a memo in which the company wrote that "due to unprecedented COVID-19 impacts on the Canadian beef supply chain, we are temporarily adjusting our supply to incorporate beef from outside Canada – from pre-approved McDonald's suppliers and facilities globally – in order to meet the current demand, effective immediately."
The beef shortages were the result of the closure of a number of meat processing plants. As the coronavirus pandemic continued, some of these facilities have become breeding grounds for the virus and have seen some of the worse clusters, forcing some to close their doors and sparking concerns of food shortages temporarily.