Continuing Coverage for Foodservice Supply Chain


May 22, 2020

COVID Creates New Restaurant Jobs

Safety Stewards and Coronavirus Cops….chains are creating new roles and responsibilities as dining rooms reopen.

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

New information for Alaska, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and West Virginia.

May 21, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

New information for Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia.

May 20, 2020

Government Agencies Agree to Work Together for the Food Supply Chain

USDA and FDA will work together under the Defense Protocol Act to ensure the food supply chain experiences no disruptions or shortages.

Weekly Restaurant Gains Encouraging

Traffic is improving as states reopen. “The road back will be challenging and slow, but we’re headed in the right direction.”

What is COVID’s Long-Term Impact on Food Supply and Distribution?

A significant consolidation in the foodservice contract management market over the next year may be in the offing

May 19, 2020

USDA Says Meat Production Will Rebound Sharply After Slowdown

Disruptions will be felt for the rest of the year, but meat production in 2021 is forecast to rise nearly 4% higher than this year due to recovery in all major types of meat.

Cheese Prices are Soaring as Restaurants Want More

A majority of U.S.D.A. cheese producer contacts are now reporting higher cheese production due to a rebound in demand, namely from food service.

May 18, 2020

Updated Return to Work Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments

Includes revisions to California, District of Columbia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


May 15, 2020

Expect Meat Production to be Slow For Months

“We will not be able to go to full capacity anytime soon as we fight this virus because of all the changes we have implemented,”

Major Berry Grower Struggles Without Foodservice Demand

"We haven't plowed a crop under yet and hopefully we won’t have to do that at all. But we are also having to cap the amount of production we're taking in because there’s not enough of a market,"

April Freight Volume Hits Recessionary levels

Freight shipments fell nearly 23% YoY in April to "recessionary levels," according to the latest Cass Freight Index, which added, "we believe this will mark the bottom."

May 14, 2020

Will Coronavirus Reverse Globalization and Drive Regional Supply Chains?

“Covid-19 will push more companies to relocate parts of their supply chains, and a shift to regionalized supply chains will be an enduring outcome of this crisis.”

Tyson Reduces Some Beef Prices as Plants Resume Operations

Tyson Foods Inc. is lowering some prices it charges restaurants and supermarkets for beef, after disruptions at meatpacking plants have led to a surge in meat costs.

May 13, 2020

RBI Expands Operational Changes For Minimal Contact as Dining Rooms Reopen

“We have fully embraced the notion that parts of our restaurants need to change – certainly, for the foreseeable future and possibly forever.”

May 12, 2020

Illinois Gets Restless, Asks For Earlier Reopening of Dining Rooms

Gov. Jay Pritzker is being pressured to consider moving up the "go" date, which operators say is currently June 26 at the earliest.

Restaurants Innovate to Reopen Dining Rooms Safely

The creative use of shower curtains, plants, plexiglass and automatic doors.

May 11, 2020

More States Lift Dining Restrictions This Week

Restaurants in Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio have been given the green light to begin a gradual return to dine-in business the week of May 11 in the latest batch of states emerging from weeks of shutdown.

USDA Starts Buying $1.2B in Food This Week

The agency plans to partner with regional and local distributors to purchase fresh produce, dairy and meat that have been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other foodservice entities.

Is Our Food System Broken?

The coronavirus has revealed that there are serious weaknesses with relying too much on specialization and hyper-efficiency.

May 8, 2020

On Meat Production Perdue says “We’ve Turned the Corner”

Three packing plants that account for 12% of U.S. hog slaughter are slowly resuming production after coronavirus shutdowns, potentially loosening a bottleneck among meat processors that is tightening supplies and raising prices.

Wendy’s Addresses Fresh Burger Outages, says it’s ‘Temporary’

While supplies are tight the firm says, “We're still delivering beef to every restaurant every two or three days. But from time to time, there could be some items that we're out of stock on.”

Cold Storage Not Seeing Protein Shortages

Americold says they have “a lot of full warehouses of chicken” and that some of the reports of impending meat shortages have been a little overdone.

Chick fil A Starts Reopening for Carryout

Dining rooms remain closed for now. Enhanced safety protocols, plexiglass and new signage are installed.

May 7, 2020

Meat Supply Isn’t the Problem for Shake Shack

“We've had zero supply challenges in getting our beef.” Cost however, is another story.

May 6, 2020

Opening Up America Again

The joint report from the White House and CDC - a three phased approach.

Current Reopening Status for All 50 States

Where states stand with their plans to reopen.

Consumers are cautious as Dining Rooms Reopen

“Going forward the biggest question mark is whether breakfast and lunch will start to return to where they once were.”

May 5, 2020

1,000 Wendy’s Locations are out of Fresh Hamburger

It's unclear what the path forward for American QSRs is if meat shortages escalate.

USDA to Buy $105M in Surplus Produce to Keep Growers Going

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning on buying $470 million in surplus food, including $105 million worth of produce, as growers cope with disrupted supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 4, 2020

Tyson Expects Continuing Challenges as Meat Processors Struggle

“We witnessed an unprecedented shift in demand from food service to retail, temporary plant closures, reduced team member attendance, and supply chain volatility as a result of the virus.”

Supply Challenges Stress Chains That Use Fresh Beef

Prices have soared for parts of beef popular with fast-food chains and other restaurants that use it to make their fresh burger patties, driving up costs and making it more difficult for some companies to get enough supplies.

May 2, 2020

Drive-Throughs Are Now a Lifeline

Despite the chaos, the nation’s drive-throughs have continued to churn out orders, providing a financial reprieve while dining rooms sit empty.

May 1, 2020

COVID-19 Forces You To Deal With Adverse Impact On Your Supply Chain

Watch this on-demand webinar from the International Franchise Association for important information specific to supply chain. Featured panel includes Joyce Mazero of Polisnelli PC and member of the Supply Chain Expert Exchange Advisory Council.

McDonald’s is Now Limiting Allocation of Meat Supply

The company will send its restaurants meat shipments based on calculated demand across the system, versus the standard amount believed will be needed.

Business is Shifting to Different Times of the Day, Breakfast Takes a Hit

“With customers’ daily morning routines disrupted, we are seeing a shift in sales across dayparts”

Pandemic Restrictions Drive Interest in Supply Chain Technology

Companies of all sizes take a new look at technology that can help them adapt their operations to a changing business landscape under coronavirus restrictions.

April 29, 2020

Executive Order Signed to Keep Meat Plants Running

The executive order will help protect the nation’s food supply and keep plants operational.
“We’re working very hard to make sure our food supply chain is sound and plentiful,” the President said.

April 28, 2020

Executive Action Expected to Keep Meat-Processing Plants Open

The President said said he would sign an executive order to address “liability problems” in the food supply.

USDA to Help Livestock Producers Move Animals

APHIS and other state officials will be assisting to help identify potential alternative markets if a producer is unable to move animals, and if necessary, advise and assist on depopulation and disposal methods.

April 27, 2020

Pork Industry, USDA Discuss Euthanizing Hogs After Plant Closings

"We're facing gut-wrenching, never-before-seen kind of decisions".

The Latest Restaurant Reopening Guidance

A list of the latest states to issue guidelines.

Safe Dining? What Post-Pandemic Restaurants Look Like

Culinary and health organizations are drawing up guidelines and protocols for re-creating the American dining room as a safe space.

Tyson Warns “The Food Supply Chain is Breaking”
The meat processor is warning that "millions of pounds of meat" will disappear from the supply chain as the coronavirus pandemic pushes food processing plants to close, leading to product shortages in grocery stores across the country.

Grab And Go is Here to Stay, Salad Bars are History
On-premise will make a modest comeback but pre-ordering, automation and high-tech vending units will rise to limit customer interaction.

It’s Not Normal, But the Ag Market is OK
“Cultivation of row crops is not going to be affected by the COVID-19 crisis, because it involves relatively less human labor.”

April 24, 2020

Brace for Shortages as Virus Hobbles Meat and Pork Plants

“We haven’t seen a situation in our lifetime where the industry has contracted as quickly as we have seen in the last month,”

April 23, 2020

Restaurant Reopening Guidance

As state and local governments consider reopening their economies in response to COVID-19, the Restaurant Association has assembled a group of experts, led by Larry Lynch, Senior Vice President of Certification & Operations, from the Food and Drug Administration, academia, and the public health sector, to draft guidance for restaurants that guide state governments and align with opening plans.

Hog Producers Consider Euthanasia, Pork Industry Faces $5B Loss

As meat processing facilities continue to close because of COVID-19 outbreaks, plant capacity has been reduced by around 24%.

The Dairy Industry is Now Deep in Crisis Mode

The entire U.S. dairy industry is seeking ways to contain the price and supply chain damage brought about by COVID-19 and wondering when and how it might eventually emerge from the current emergency.

Long-Term Effect on the Food Industry are Still Unknown

Jayson Lusk, PhD, head of the department of agricultural economics at Purdue University, suggested the pandemic may bring about significant changes not only to how consumers buy their food but even to the ways that food is processed and distributed

April 22, 2020

McDonald’s Needs 900,000 Masks a Day to Operate

Simple paper masks worn with elastic straps might cost anywhere from 30 cents to $1 each right now, up from roughly 15 cents each a year ago. How is that being being sourced?


April 21, 2020

Tyson Reopens Pork Plant Shuttered By Virus

Operations at the plant, which has about 1,400 employees and produces pork products for retail and foodservice, are restarting on a limited basis, the company said.

It’s Not a Food Shortage but a Rigid Supply Chain

Pandemic Shows US supply chain is due for an upgrade.

McDonald’s Plans Slow Reopening of Dining Rooms

The company will take steps to enforce social distancing at its restaurants, nearly of all of which are offering drive-through and some carryout service.

April 20, 2020

Nearly 100 Tyson Chicken Workers Test Positive for COVID-19

Workers will be required to take their temperatures at the start of their shifts and wear face coverings.

Logistics Firm to Pay Costs for Any Business Donating Truckloads to Food Banks

Digital freight network provider Convoy is offering to pay the trucking costs for any business in the U.S. wanting to donate a truckload of product to their local food bank, saying the move could help address growing food shortages faced by people nationwide during the Covid-19 crisis.

Sonny Perdue: Food Supply is ‘Strong, Resilient and Safe’

Perdue’s remarks come after a week of meat processing plants closures due to COVID-19.

April 17, 2020

Phases Announced for Reopening Restaurants and Bars

No timeline was given for 'Opening Up America,' but sit-down dining will reopen first, bars come later.

April 16, 2020

Will the USDA Step in to Save Growers?

Driscoll’s president says, “We don’t want to throw fruit away.”

US Meat Supply is Pushed to the Edge, More Plants Close

Meat supply chain stakeholders worry that large disruptions in processing will cause a devastating ripple effect upstream to livestock farmers and feed producers. 

Starbucks Knows a few things, Plans to Reopen Stores Early May

“As we have experienced in China, we are now transitioning to a new phase that can best be described as ‘monitor and adapt’.”

April 15, 2020

Supply Chains Will Scrutinize Suppliers After Coronavirus

Initial concerns about near-term supply disruptions are giving way to larger questions regarding procurement risk management beyond COVID-19. 

New Rules: Disposable Menus, Mandatory Masks, Less Capacity

Is California giving us a look at the near future reality?

April 14, 2020

National Restaurant Association Debuts "Restaurants Act" Advocacy Website

Critical information for restaurants, employees, customers and industry partners.

Local Safety Orders Collide With Demand For Convenient Access to Food

“Every member of the beef supply chain relies on processing plants operating daily to keep product moving.”

US Food Supply Chain is Strained as Virus Spreads

“Labor is going to be the biggest thing that can break” The worst disruptions will be on parts of the food system dependent heavily on consolidated supply chains that employ large numbers of people.


April 13, 2020

World’s Largest Pork Processor Shuts Down Plant, Warns of Shortages

Slaughterhouse shutdowns are disrupting the US food supply chain, crimping availability of meat and leaving farmers without outlets for their livestock.


April 12, 2020

Conflicting Guidelines Could Disrupt the Supply Chain

“The lack of clarity around what constitutes ‘critical’ and ‘essential’ business and workers and the lack of uniformity in guidance hurts efforts to respond quickly.”

Food Waste of the Pandemic

“There is no way to redistribute the quantities that we are talking about.”


April 10, 2020

Supply Chain Decisions Are in Constant Focus Now

Daily team meetings, close customer input and 24/7 management is the new normal.


April 9, 2020

Farmers Destroy Product as Demand is Erased
Producers are throttling back, Supplies are piling up. “When you have panic in the marketplace, weird things happen”.

Too Much Food In the Wrong Places
Our food distribution system relies on predictability. Now as the biggest destinations disappear, supply chains are struggling to adapt.


April 7, 2020

Chick-fil-A Adds Hand Washing Stations at Drive-Thrus
Now instructing its team members wash their hands a minimum of every 30 minutes and every time they interact with cash.

Shake Shack, Torchy’s Tacos Move in to Meal Kits
By offering a meal kit, chains are hitting on an emerging trend from the coronavirus crisis: meal kits are in high demand.

April 6, 2020

FDA Relaxes Restaurants' Menu-Labeling Rules

As many restaurants convert to takeout and delivery, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is temporarily relaxing restaurant menu-labeling regulations during the coronavirus health crisis.

April 3, 2020

IFMA in conjunction with Kinetic12 Consulting offer this whitepaper, Looking Forward to the New Normal with projected long-term impacts on the foodservice industry.

Restaurant Coronavirus Resources & Information by State

Don't forget to check the Restaurant Association's comprehensive list of the mandates and directives required in every state, city and county as they relate to restaurants and coronavirus measures.  For more, visit

April 1, 2020

SYSCO Changes Tactics to Survive

The nation's largest food distributor temporarily shifts to frozen meat and produce, route consolidation and worker furloughs.

March 31, 2020

FDA Provides Restaurants and Food Manufacturers Flexibility on Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Foods

For restaurants that wish to sell packaged food to consumers directly, or to other businesses for sale to consumers, the FDA does not intend to object if guidelines are followed.

March 30, 2020

5 Things to Know About the New Coronavirus Paid Leave Law

Many employers already thrown into operational crises due to scaled-back consumer demand, revenue and operations, are scrambling to implement the FFCRA's emergency leave protections by its effective date, April 1, 2020.

Is a Food crises Looming?

Price spikes could be coming for meat and perishable commodities with global implications.

March 26, 2020

Reusable Bag Bans and Plastic Bag Suspensions List
Click here for the latest list from the Bag Alliance 

Coronavirus Pandemic is Whipsawing the Trucking Industry
Drivers as well are facing new difficulties, including closed roadside eateries and customers wary of letting them in.

March 25, 2020

Special Alert:  Temporary Allowances for Labels Going to Retail

FSIS Announces Temporary Allowances for Foodservice Labels Going to Retail.

Cargill & Tyson Flex To Sudden Demand Shift
“We are making decisions by the hour”.

Distributors Implement Pandemic Planning Protocols
Here's how U.S. Foods and Sysco are dealing with coronavirus.

Lack of Traffic is Accelerating Freight
If there’s a silver lining, less cars on the road are allowing trucks to get freight moved faster.

March 24, 2020

Foodservice Distributors Connect Retailers, Wholesalers to Distribute Excess Food

“If we can think in terms of partnerships and problem solving, we can get through this together.”

Will JIT Inventory Management Have to Change?
Food sellers in the U.S. spent years making their supply chains efficient. Then a pandemic hit, and the strategy backfired.

Restaurants Pivot to Meal Kits and Groceries
Dining rooms are closed and Operators are adjusting at unprecedented pace.

Cold Chain Stays Steady as Demand Heats Up
Some food producers have adjusted production lines to the new normal, warehouses request regulatory help to continue battling disruption.

Author: Supply Chain Scene