The long forewarned meat shortage in the United States has come for one of America’s foremost fresh, never frozen, fast-food meat purveyors: Wendy’s. That’s right, Wendy’s locations across the country are taking their famously four-sided burgers off the menu and only offering chicken or side items.
It turns out that Wendy’s commitment to using fresh and not frozen beef has made it particularly susceptible to falling prey to issues in domestic food supply chains. Because they never freeze their beef, they are dependent on a supply chain that exists near them. Frozen beef, on the other hand, can be imported from just about anywhere, making beef processing plant shutdowns (of which there have been many over the past few weeks as workers get sick from COVID-19, stretching meat, poultry, and pork shortages thin) a more dire situation for the popular burger chain. And just as grocery stores and individual human beings might struggle to find beef over the next few weeks, so will fast food chains, it looks like.
But not all Wendy’s are out of their famous burgers. Chicago, for example, still has beef on the menu and others across the country likely haven’t been impacted yet, as well. Wendy’s, which has nearly 6,000 chain locations across the country, will have to navigate an unforeseeable future for the time being. Just like the rest of us.