Food & Drink

Vegan patty shortage: Impossible Burgers are impossible to find in Sacramento

Impossible Burgers, the popular vegan patty that mimics the look and taste of real meat, are becoming difficult to find in Sacramento.

The multi-billion dollar company that produces the burgers, Impossible Foods, can’t keep up with demand for its product. Impossible reached out to distributors and restaurants in April to inform them about the shortage.

Broderick Roadhouse has been out of the Impossible Burger for at least a month and a half, according to Taylor Prettyman, a bartender at the Midtown location. Prettyman said the restaurant has no indication of when they will be able to restock the Impossible Foods burger.

Broderick has been substituting with the Beyond Meat burger patty in the meantime. Servers have to give the customers a heads up about the shortage and subsequent use of the Beyond patty every time someone tries to order the Impossible Burger.

“It’s holding us over from freaking out,” Prettyman said. “People are usually pretty receptive and OK with it.”

Iron Horse Tavern has a Banh Mi Impossible Burger on the menu, but they have also been out of the patties since the shortage began. Iron Horse is not serving the Beyond Burger as an alternative, and are instead substituting with mushrooms and other options.

Burger King began rolling out Impossible Whoppers this week, but the location on Stockton Boulevard said it hasn’t gotten any of the Impossible Foods product yet. The fast food chain announced it would make the meatless Whoppers available nationwide in its more than 7,000 branches by the end of this year. White Castle, Qdoba and Red Robin are also doing business with Impossible Foods.

The company said in an email statement it is “increasing headcount at the plant in Oakland, Calif. The plant now runs 24-7 (two 12-hour shifts per day) and employs about 130 people full time.”

“We are aggressively recruiting additional new hires to work in Oakland,” the statement said. The company is not struggling with its supply of inputs – it’s burgers are made with soy, a major crop in the U.S. – but demand has been so great that Impossible Foods hasn’t been able to keep up.

Impossible Foods rolled out its Impossible Burger 2.0 in January, and the burger has been added to 4,000 more restaurants since that month. It’s now available on menus in more than 9,000 restaurants, according to the statement.

“We recognize the inconvenience that scarcity causes and sincerely apologize to all customers,” the statement read.

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