Area restaurants and grocery stores struggle to keep meat in stock

Published: May. 6, 2020 at 9:46 PM CDT
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The retail beef and pork shortage has been an on-going battle nationally for weeks and it’s now affecting local grocery stores and restaurants. Sedgwick County businesses tell us how they’re handling the demand.

“It started a couple weeks ago when they announced the plants that are closing down,” says Leeker's Family Foods owner Chris Steindler.

Leeker’s is getting cut off by suppliers who can’t fulfill the amount of meat that Steindler orders.

“We have seen people coming in and buying more meat. There are some items that are getting tight on supply. Beef and pork are starting to get hard to get,” says Steindler.

But Leeker’s isn’t putting purchase limits on customers yet like competitors Kroger, Costco and Hyvee. In a statement from Dillon’s a spokeswoman says, "…We’ve added temporary purchase limits on fresh ground beef, poultry, and pork.”

A Stephen’s Inc. study revealed Wednesday that over a thousand Wendy’s restaurants nationwide have listed beef items as out of stock.

We reached out to the chain about how that affects Kansas locations and received this response: "We continue to supply hamburgers to all of our restaurants…However, some of our menu items may be in short supply from time to time at some restaurants in this current environment."

West Street Burger manager Jeremey Rhodig says they’ve been trying to purchase more beef than usual lately to keep up with fast-paced burger demand.

“We’ve never had a problem getting anything until now," says Rhodig. "There’s a lot more coming through the drive through now so we’ve got quite a bit of business.”

Rhodig says they haven’t had a problem ordering beef, but he has noticed pork prices increase, especially bacon.