Meat shortage, restaurant reopenings creates challenges for food suppliers

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Bars and restaurants are now open to half capacity in West Virginia, and that’s putting some pressure on food suppliers; especially during this national meat shortage.

Unloading food supplies at local Charleston restaurants is something we haven’t really seen for over two months.

Now with our restaurants and bars reopening in West Virginia, it’s increasing the demand in a time when there’s a meat shortage. Creating a ‘good news, bad news’ situation.

“That time has come, we’re happy to say,” said Dickinson Gould, owner of ‘Buzz Food Service.’ “But it comes with its own mix of challenges for sure.”

‘Buzz Food Service’ is a supplier and distributor for all kinds of different businesses here in Kanawha County.

Gould says while having the business back is great, the national meat shortage is making filling orders pretty difficult.

“The national shortage of beef and pork is very real,” Gould said. “When those facilities are shut down, or even put on limited schedules, we just can’t process enough meat to satisfy the supply chain.”

Because of this, Gould and his employees are advising restaurants to reopen with a limited menu; focused more on chicken and seafood, rather than beef and pork.

Local restaurants will still be put on the back burner.

The reality is when those companies have the product available to sell, they will most likely refill the retail supply chain first. It’s another new way that independent restaurants — the backbone of our small business community — are struggling in this pandemic. They’re finally ready to reopen, they’ve been sitting on the sidelines patiently, and now they can’t do it in the fashion they would most like to.


Food suppliers, meat processing companies, and restaurant owners working with what they have.

Restaurant owners are asking that if you come out to support them, please bring your patience with you. There will be a smaller staff, with limited items on the menu.

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