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Trending this week: Some Wendy’s restaurants stop selling burgers and more on McDonald’s coronavirus recovery plan

Ron Shaich fund, T. Rowe Price to invest $70M in BJ’s Restaurants Inc.

This week on Nation's Restaurant News, Wendy’s has temporarily removed beef from some of its menus due to production interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of beef and other livestock processing facilities have closed temporarily either as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks at the plants or fears of the virus spreading due to outbreaks in the communities where they operate.

As the restaurant industry faced a decline in sales and traffic during the coronavirus pandemic, pizza topped the list of foods consumers said they were likely to order while sheltering at home, according to a March survey from Chicago-based research firm Datassential. “There’s no doubt that when people are under stress, they seek comfort of some sort,” Fred LeFranc of Results Thru Strategy, said. “If the food travels well, the price is good and is satisfies the urge, people are going to go for it [even during a pandemic]. That’s why casual and fine-dining restaurants are struggling so much. It’s hard to think of your beautifully plated steak showing up in a takeout box.”

As pizza delivery performed better than the restaurant industry as a whole, during their first quarter earnings, Domino’s reported same-store sales growth of 1.6% in U.S. stores in Q1, which was far better than the rest of the industry. Domino’s also reported improved sales into the second quarter, with preliminary same-store sales growth of 7.1% for the first few weeks of April.

With some restaurants starting reopen in the coming months, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski told investors during the chain’s first quarter conference call, “The world is going to look different coming out of this crisis. Many of those changes will be enduring.” Click through the gallery to read the main highlights from the earnings call, which focused on changing consumer behavior, slow breakfast sales, worsening second-quarter comps and lessons learned from China as its restaurants reopen. Check out what else was trending on this week.

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