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Coronavirus covid Intelwars Pepperoni Pizza Pizza shortage

Pizza threatened again: Pepperoni is getting expensive and scarce as COVID-19 continues to ruin everything

In April, on the heels of toilet paper and hand-sanitizer storages, the nation went into panic mode when there was a critical scarcity of frozen pizzas.

That fear over a lack of one of the nation’s most loved (and needed) foods — combined with projected disruptions in the availability of beer and soda — nearly made Americans apoplectic.

Thankfully, that threat has since abated.

But our country’s beloved hot pies are now facing an existential threat on another front — a serious shortage of the most popular topping: pepperoni.

Say it ain’t so

Bloomberg News reported this weekend that a combination of increased demand for pizza and “production snags” at plants are making the beloved cured meat scarce and therefore more expensive.

According to Bloomberg, Domino’s Pizza has seen a “tailwind” as a massive chunk of the American populace continues to spend much of its time at home and ordering pizza delivery and takeout.

Domino’s isn’t alone, the outlet noted. Papa John’s reported record-high sales in its North American stores.

The advantage these larger chains have over smaller, independent pizza shops, which have seen pepperoni prices jump 50% in some cases, is long-term contracts. The big guys have multi-year deals that set prices and delivery at pre-negotiated levels that cannot be impacted by the market.

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that creating the topping requires a lot of man hours, but the meat plants, thanks to the coronavirus, don’t have the labor force to create the product.

More from Bloomberg:

Barry Friends, a partner at foodservice consultant Pentallect, said the ingredient’s labor-intensive process and low profit margins have made some producers say “screw it” as they streamline operations amid the coronavirus.

Pork processors “are basically just shipping out large pieces of meat for further processing,” Friends said. “They’re not doing as much because they don’t have the people to do the work.”

Matthew Hyland, chef and co-owner of the Emily pizza shop in New York City, told Bloomberg his place was just going to eat the cost of the higher pepperoni prices, knowing his customers would notice if he jacked his prices.

“It’s an American right to have pepperoni on pizza,” he told the outlet. “Pepperoni is such a huge part of pizza it’s important to us that we keep it accessible.”

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fired Intelwars Little caesars Ohio Pizza Swastika watch

Couple discovers pepperoni swastika on pizza — and restaurant fires employees responsible

Jason Laska stopped at a Little Caesars Pizza in Brook Park, Ohio, on Saturday night and brought home grab-and-go pizza.

But he and his wife Misty said they were shocked to find a swastika on the pizza formed by pepperonis,
WOIO-TV reported.


Image source: WOIO-TV video screenshot

What are the details?

“It’s not funny,” Jason Laska told WOIO. “It’s not funny. Especially with everything going on in the world right now.”

The couple told the station they tried calling the restaurant but were unable to reach anyone.

So they took a photo of the pizza featuring the pepperoni swastika — which was backward — and posted it to social media, WOIO reported.

Oops!

Turns out Misty Laska learned the culprits were teenage employees just joking around — and they mistakenly sold the offending pizza to her husband, the station said. The teens weren’t named because some of them are juveniles, WOIO said.

A reporter visited the Little Caesars location Sunday, but she said it was closed despite its 11 a.m. opening time.

Couple wants culprits held to account

The Laskas told the station they want those responsible for the pepperoni swastika held accountable.

“The point is, there should not be this kind of hate happening today,” Misty Laska added to WOIO. “With the climate we’re in right now, why make a joke like that?”


Jason and Misty Laska discovered the pepperoni swastikaImage source: WOIO-TV video screenshot

Jason Laska concurred, telling the station that “we’re trying to solve hate, and even if this was just a joke internally for the employees, just stop. Stop with the symbolism and let it go away.”

Chop, chop

WOIO shared a statement from Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc.: “We have zero tolerance for racism and discrimination in any form, and these franchise store employees were immediately terminated. We’re deeply disappointed that this happened, as this conduct is completely against our values. We have also reached out to the customer to discuss this personally with him.”

Misty Laska also took an opportunity Sunday to upbraid those who doubted the couple’s story:

“I hope, at the very least, that you get free pizza pizza forever,” one tweet commenter
noted.

Here’s a report on the incident from WEWS-TV:

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Dc protests George floyd protests Intelwars National Guard Pizza Riots

National guardsmen deployed for DC protests reportedly discover glass in their pizza

At least two South Carolina National Guardsmen reportedly discovered glass in their pizza while deployed in Washington, D.C.

Last week, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) sent about 500 soldiers to Washington, D.C., in response to the protests associated with the death of George Floyd.

What are the details?

Members of the South Carolina National Guard say they found glass in their pizza during their deployment.

At least two soldiers who were staying at the Marriott Marquis Hotel reportedly used Uber Eats to deliver the pizza from a local restaurant. The restaurant remains unnamed at the time of this reporting.

The Charleston Post and Courier reported that the pizza appeared to have shards of glass baked into the dough as well as the cheese.

According to the Military Times, the soldiers were not harmed.

In a statement, Capt. Jessica Donnelly — a spokesperson for the South Carolina National Guard — said that the Guard believes the allegation was an isolated incident.

“The service members are okay,” Donnelly said. “It was a single incident. Their command said the Soldiers were advised to file a report with [the] local police department. From my understanding they chose not to. There is no additional information to report.”

The Charleston Post and Courier also reported that no report had been filed.

“Department of Defense personnel have seen an increase in threats, according to the report, but it went on to state that there have been no specific threats made by protesters against soldiers,” the outlet reported. “The soldiers’ names were not mentioned in the Department of Defense report or named by S.C. National Guard officials.”

Donnelly told the Washingtonian that had the soldiers filed a police report, it would have been through a local precinct in Washington, D.C.

“I do not know what police department they would have called, if they did,” she said. “It would be local to D.C. … Again, the soldiers were advised to file a report. If they chose not to, then there wouldn’t be a report.”

The South Carolina National Guard troops returned from their deployment on Tuesday.

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Coronavirus Intelwars Pizza

First we had to worry about toilet paper shortages. Now the big worry is … frozen pizzas?

Americans have already suffered the indignity of toilet paper shortages — shortages that even led to criminal behavior.

Then we went through the great run on hand-sanitizer.

And now we have to endure a lack of frozen pizzas.

Combine this with a projected shortage of beer and soda, and you’re looking at a potential total meltdown of American society.

Oh, the humanity.

What’s that now?

AdWeek reported that frozen pizza sales across the U.S. are up more than 90% compared to a year ago. Some brands are seeing an increase of nearly 200% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Newman’s Own President and COO Dave Best called the surge “unprecedented” and told AdWeek that in his 25 years in the business, “I’ve never seen a spike like this across the country.” According to Best, his company’s sales of frozen pizzas are up 190% since the start of the crisis.

The outlet noted that across Los Angeles grocery stores had been reporting shortage. Some frozen-food delivery drivers had to add locks to their trailers for fear of frantic shoppers looking for the pies.

AdWeek shared that data from analytics firm IRI showed that Americans spent $275 million on frozen pizzas for the four weeks ending April 5 — an increase of 92% from the same time last year.

The Fall River Harald News in Massachusetts reported that a driver for Schwan’s line of frozen pizzas said that dealing with the surge in frozen pizza sales has been “horrendous.” The driver told the paper that as the supply has diminished, the ongoing empty shelves have left a lot of customers upset.

“At a couple stores where I deliver, they had to have a police officer because people were threatening the store,” the driver said, adding, “It’s mass hysteria.”

“I just don’t understand where people are putting all this frozen pizza,” the driver said.

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Coronavirus Coronavirus america COVID-19 Economy Food Health Intelwars jobs Pizza Restaurants

Domino’s is trying to fill around 10,000 jobs to meet coronavirus-driven delivery demand

As a result of the efforts to combat and slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus — formally known as COVID-19 — restaurant dining rooms have been closed down, people have been staying home, and the world’s largest pizza delivery chain says that it needs more people to help with the uptick delivery demand.

According to a Thursday report at CNBC, the company expects to hire somewhere around 10,000 new workers in roles ranging from delivery drivers and pizza makers to commercially licensed truck drivers for its supply chain centers.

Company CEO Richard Allison explained that the hiring surge wouldn’t only benefit the chain’s hungry, homebound customers, but also people from other areas of the service industry who have found themselves in tough financial situations because of the virus’ spread.

“While many local, state, and federal rules are closing dine-in restaurants, the opportunity to keep feeding our neighbors through delivery and carryout means that a small sense of normalcy is still available to everyone,” company CEO Richard Allison said in a Thursday announcement that the company is looking for both part-time and full-time workers.

“Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they’re not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily-impacted restaurant industry,” the CEO added.

Those interested in applying for one of the positions can do so on its employment website, the announcement says.

As federal, state and local government officials around the country have worked to combat the spread of the virus, many in the restaurant industry have found themselves at a loss due to mandates that have limited their customers to pickup, delivery and drive-through options. In addition to the orders, the White House has also issued a set of guidelines on Monday advising people to avoid eating in bars, restaurants and food courts for two weeks in order to slow the spread of the virus.

These virus-driven market changes have given businesses already known for their delivery service — like Domino’s — a particular advantage amid the response. In response to Thursday’s announcement, the pizza chain’s stock increased 11% while the company has also been outperforming the S&P 500 index as of late, according to Investors Business Daily.

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