FILE PHOTO: A Wendy’s Co restaurant is pictured in Monrovia, California November 4, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) – Wendy’s Co (WEN.O) said on Tuesday its restaurants may face a shortage of many menu items, including hamburgers, as beef processors in the United States struggle to keep their plants open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. meat manufacturers, including Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N), have signaled disruptions to food supply as they are forced to shut many meat plants to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“Beef suppliers across North America are currently facing production challenges. Because of this, some of our menu items may be in short supply from time to time at some restaurants in this current environment,” a Wendy’s spokesperson said.

The burger chain, known for its fresh-never-frozen patties, said it would continue to supply hamburgers to all of its restaurants, with deliveries two or three times a week.

Just before the virus outbreak in the United States, Wendy’s launched a new breakfast menu that included sausages, eggs, croissant and a hamburger variation in the hopes of attracting more footfall in the morning, a crucial daypart for restaurateurs.

The pandemic has also led to rival McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) trimming its menu to serve drive-thru and delivery customers faster, while its dine-in operations remain shut. Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski last week told analysts that the company has had no break in supply till date.

Several retailers including Kroger Co (KR.N) and Costco Wholesale Corp Cost.O have also limited meat purchases per customers.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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