A few Wendy’s locations in California, South Carolina, and Kentucky have taken burgers off their menu as the fast food chain has started to feel the effects of the meat supply shortage due to the COVID-19 crisis, TODAY reports.
It is an unfortunate yet ironic turn of events for Wendy’s, which became famous in the 1980s for originating the phrase, “Where’s the beef?” While the fast food chain is currently stuck wondering that exact same thing, they maintain that this will only be a temporary issue as the company works to “minimize the impact to our customers and restaurants.”
“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, per Restaurant Business. “We expect this to be temporary, and we're working diligently to minimize the impact to our customers and restaurants.”
Kenneth Edwards, CEO of the meat processing company Smithfield Foods, warned last month that the U.S. was coming “perilously close” to a meat supply shortage after they were forced to close their facility in North Dakota for the foreseeable future in response to a large number of workers testing positive for coronavirus.
As more and more meat suppliers started to shut down their plants, Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act last week, leaving these companies with no choice but to keep their faculties open, even if it means putting the well-being of their employees at risk.
The United Food and Commercial Workers union argued that Trump’s order not only puts employees in harm’s way, it also endangers the food supply. As of late April, at least 5,000 workers had tested positive for the virus or were forced to self-quarantine.