The drastic menu change is leaving customers to ask, "Where's the beef?"

By Georgia Slater
May 05, 2020
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As the shortage of meat in the United States continues to become more apparent as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, popular fast-food chain Wendy's is the latest restaurant to be affected.

Some Wendy's locations have taken hamburgers—the restaurant's signature item—off of their menu, disappointed customers noted on Twitter this week.

The popular hamburger joint, which boasts its "fresh, never frozen" beef, was found serving only chicken and side items at the locations without burgers, one user shared, due to a lack of meat deliveries.

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"Some of our menu items may be in short supply from time to time at some restaurants in this current environment,'' Wendy's said in a statement to Restaurant Business. "We expect this to be temporary, and we're working diligently to minimize the impact to our customers and restaurants."

According to Today, customers reported that hamburgers were no longer available at Wendy's locations in California, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

The drastic menu change is leaving customers to ask, "Where's the beef?" on social media, referencing the fast-food chain's catchphrase from the 1980s.

At the time, the saying was used to question other fast-food restaurants for their small hamburgers and lack of meat.

News of Wendy's beef shortage comes as several other restaurants and stores are struggling with their meat supplies as a result of halted supply operations amid the coronavirus outbreak.

As of April 28, at least 22 meatpacking and food processing plants have closed over the past two months due to the spread of the virus, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union wrote in a statement.

"The food supply chain is breaking," John Tyson, the chairman of the board of Tyson, warned last week in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

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"There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed," he added.

Last month, the United Nations sounded the alarm that without action, parts of the world were at risk of numerous famines “of biblical proportions” in the near future.

David Beasley, the director of the United Nations World Food Program, addressed the U.N. Security Council via video where he expressed concerns that the world was on “the brink of a hunger pandemic.”

“There is also a real danger that more people could potentially die from the economic impact of COVID-19 [the coronavirus disease] than from the virus itself,” he warned.

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