Why is Travis Scott causing supply chain issues for McDonald's?

17 September 2020

The collaboration between McDonald’s and US rapper Travis Scott has led to a shortage of some ingredients at the burger chain’s restaurants.

The Travis Scott meal, which launched at restaurants on 8 September, consists of a Quarter Pounder with cheese and bacon, barbeque sauce, fries and Sprite, and costs $6.

However the deal’s popularity has led some restaurants selling out of key ingredients. 

In a statement McDonald’s said: “It’s been so lit, some of our restaurants have temporarily sold out of some of the ingredients in the meal.

“We're working closely with our suppliers, distributors, and franchisees to resupply impacted restaurants as quickly as possible.”

According to a memo seen by USA Today, McDonald's is temporarily controlling the supply of some ingredients, including Quarter Pounder fresh beef, bacon, slivered onions, and shredded lettuce.

The fast-food giant reportedly told its employees more restaurants would run out of ingredients if the deal’s popularity continued. 

It said: “We’ve created a programme that’s so compelling to our customers that it’s stretching our world-class supply chain; and if demand continues at these levels, more restaurants will break supply.”

McDonald’s has joined its fast-food rivals in running out of key ingredients. Earlier this year, Wendy’s removed burgers from the menu at some of its restaurants as a result of pressures on the US meat supply chain due to Covid-19. 

Last year, Taco Bell implied a supplier was to blame for a shortage of tortillas, which was dubbed the “tortillapocalypse” on social media. 

In 2018, KFC was forced to close two-thirds of its branches in the UK after delivery problems led to a mass chicken shortage.

KFC was criticised for its “penny-pinching” decision to award its distribution contract to DHL despite being warned the delivery firm would not be up to the task.

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