May 6, 2020 - Health

Wendy's locations run out of burgers as meat shortages hit consumers

Photo: Frederic J .Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A fifth of Wendy’s 1,043 fast-food restaurants have run out of meat, an analysis by the financial firm Stephens found, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: The days of unlimited meat options have temporarily come to an end across the U.S. — and while meat is still available, consumers are likely to face localized purchase limits or shortages as supply chains creak under the strain of the coronavirus.

The big picture: Dozens of meat plants around the country shuttered as workers came down with the coronavirus in recent weeks. And supply chain shifts — as wholesale demand plummeted with restaurant closures — also impacted the industry.

  • Grocers like Costco, Kroger and Hy-Vee have announced that they're limiting the number of fresh beef, poultry or pork items that customers can purchase.
  • President Trump signed an executive order last week under the Defense Production Act aimed at keeping meat plants open, labeling the facilities as "critical infrastructure."

What to watch: Analysts expect the temporary fresh beef shortages to reach their peak around Memorial Day, per the Times.

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