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Wendy's won't switch to frozen beef, even as national beef shortages means some locations run out of burgers

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  • Some Wendy's locations are pulling burgers from the menu due to beef shortages.
  • Despite some locations limiting menu items, a Wendy's representative said the chain has no plans to serve hamburgers made with frozen beef. 
  • While Wendy's dedication to fresh beef may be contributing to shortages, switching to frozen beef could create new challenges in terms of supply chain management, operations, and the chain's reputation. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Even though Wendy's locations across the US are pulling burgers from the menu due to beef shortages, the chain isn't planning on substituting frozen beef.
Some Wendy's locations are taking certain burgers off the menu or have been forced to stop serving burgers entirely in recent days. Stephens analyst James Rutherford estimated that about 18% of locations are short on beef.
Yet, a representative for the chain told Business Insider on Tuesday that it has no plans to serve hamburgers made with frozen beef.
"It is widely known that beef suppliers across North America are currently facing production challenges," the representative said in a statement.
"We continue to supply hamburgers to all of our restaurants, with deliveries two or three times a week, which is consistent with normal delivery schedules," the statement continued. "However, some of our menu items may be temporarily limited at some restaurants in this current environment."
While the emphasis on fresh beef may be contributing to Wendy's recent shortages, sourcing frozen beef would create new challenges in terms of supply chain management and operations. The company would have to source frozen beef for the first time ever, as well as change how workers prepare burgers in restaurants.
Switching to frozen beef could also hurt Wendy's reputation. Wendy's has long emphasized its fresh, never-frozen beef in marketing. On Twitter, Wendy's has even mocked McDonald's for selling items made with frozen beef after it rolled out a fresh beef quarter pounder.
McDonald's and Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International said last week that, while they are closely monitoring the situation, they had not faced meat supply issues. McDonald's said in an internal call last week obtained by Business Insider that it was temporarily changing how restaurants received pork and beef to combat potential shortages.
In the call, McDonald's executives said the company expected major reductions in meat production to continue through at least the first half of May. Citing experts, executives said that production is set to increase in the back half of May but will likely take months to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
SEE ALSO: McDonald's is temporarily changing how restaurants get burgers, bacon, and sausages, with CEO saying the state of the meat supply chain in America is 'concerning'
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* This article was originally published here

https://www.businessinsider.com/wendys-wont-use-frozen-beef-despite-shortages-burger-struggles-2020-5

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