Why The Wendy’s Beef Dilemma

I’ve been inundated with questions for my perspective on the current meat shortages based on my prior positions (CEO, etc., etc.) and acumen within the meat industry. What is currently seeming to propel all this is the most recent news that Wendy’s™ is either limiting, or not making available: hamburgers. ergo “Where’s the beef?!” jokes and memes galore.

However, what’s really perplexing many is the fact that why can Burger King™ or McDonalds™ have it and not Wendy’s? To them it makes no sense. Here’s why…

Wendy’s does not use frozen patties for their burgers. i.e., It’s made (or ground) fresh from the processors and delivered in that same state. So if the processing plants are either on reduced capacity or shut down entirely Wendy’s would be effected with near immediacy, unlike McD’s and BK which would have frozen stock to continue to pull from.

I know this, because years ago, I worked in a plant (I was in charge of their roast beef division) that processed Wendy’s burger for the surrounding franchises. That was many moons ago, yet I believe that it’s still the same. If it weren’t, they shouldn’t be having this shortage, at least not yet. But seeing that they do, and so quickly as others do not, seems to answer that question.

There appears to be more than enough (due to current cold storage levels) frozen meat available to the restaurant industry because of the current shut down. (i.e., No ones really drawing any and more and more gets added to.) But as far as fresh?

It’s going to get a whole lot worse for everyone over the coming weeks and months.

Wendy’s is a precursor for what’s in-store. Or should I say: what’s not?

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr