PortandTerminal.com, May 5, 2020
Burger chains are supposed to have burgers, but that’s no longer a guarantee as coronavirus infections shut-down meat processing factories across North America.
DUBLIN, OH – CNN is reporting that around 1,000, or 18%, of Wendy’s 5,500 US restaurants are not serving any hamburgers or other meat-based items, according to an analysis of online menus at every location conducted by financial firm Stephens.
Wendy’s is “more exposed” to the shortage sparked by the coronavirus pandemic because of its reliance on fresh beef compared with its competitors, the note said.
Many meat suppliers though have temporarily closed their factories because workers are falling ill from Covid-19.
The severity of Wendy’s shortages depends on the “geographic nature of processing plant closures,” wrote Stephens analyst James Rutherford.
Put plainly, logistics and proximity matter most with fresh meat. The further your Wendy’s is from a meat processing plant, the more likely it is that you will be ordering a salad instead.
In states such as Ohio, Michigan and New York, around 30% of Wendy’s are out of fresh meat. Other states, like Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana, aren’t affected. You can guess where the beef processing plants are.
McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said last week it hasn’t experienced a “single supply chain break” and there aren’t any shortages in its supply chain. That’s total BS.
McDonald’s supplier of beef in Canada is Cargill. Cargill’s processing facilities in Canada has been rocked by COVID-19 outbreaks amongst its workers. As of Friday, 921 Cargill workers had tested positive for the virus.
So much so that, McDonald’s Canada said almost a week ago it will need to start importing beef as Canada’s beef supply chain “struggles to meet current demand amid COVID-19”.
McDonald’s in Canada has always prided itself on the fact that its burgers are “made from 100% Canadian beef”. Not any more.
So yes, for now, you can still get a burger at a McDonald’s Chris Kempczinski, but let’s keep it real here and get with the program. If we insist upon ordering a Big Mac made with 100% Canadian beef as you promised, you can’t deliver. Period.
The impact of COVID-19 upon the supply chain is affecting everyone, big, small and even whopper. How different companies handle the crisis though is the test of leadership.
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