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Yum Brands CEO: No problems getting beef or chicken amidst the coronavirus pandemic

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·3 min read
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The beefy burritos at Taco Bell and fried chicken at KFC continue to flow freely at parent company Yum! Brands (YUM). And it looks like it will stay that way for foreseeable future.

Despite major food producers like Tyson shutting plants to protect workers during the COVID-19 outbreak and a mass rush of people buying food to eat at home, Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs tells Yahoo Finance there has been no issues getting food for his restaurants.

“We have not seen any disruption. And we have some good sight into the short-term supply and that seems stable,” Gibbs said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. “We’re all looking at what happens to supply over the longer term with some of the plants shutting and the stories that you’re reading about this shift in supply from some restaurants to more grocery stores and what’s that is doing to suppliers and their ability to meet demand. But we have an amazing team of supply chain professionals.”

Gibbs comments come on the heels of Yum! Brands first quarter earnings this week, which did show the impact of restaurant closures globally and consumers opting to cook their own food at home.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 30:  An exterior view shows a sign at a Taco Bell restaurant on March 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Taco Bell Corp. announced that on March 31, 2020, the company will give everyone in the country one free beef nacho cheese Doritos Locos Taco, no purchase necessary, to drive-thru customers at participating locations while supplies last as a way of thanking people who are helping their communities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The company also announced it would relaunch its Round Up program, which gives customers the option to "round up" their order total to the nearest dollar, to raise funds for the No Kid Hungry campaign. The Taco Bell Foundation will also be donating $1 million to the campaign.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
An exterior view shows a sign at a Taco Bell restaurant on March 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Yum! Brands beat on the top line but missed on bottom-line expectations for the first quarter. Amid COVID-19, the fast food chain’s Taco Bell and KFC brands grew sales year-over-year, while Pizza Hut sales remained flat compared to the same period last year.

On the company’s earnings conference call, management revealed that global same-store sales were flat in the first week of March and rapidly declined in the following week. With about 20% of stores closed at the time, global same-store sales plunged 30% across the second half of March and into April.

Gibbs tells Yahoo Finance restaurants are putting in stricter cleaning and safety precautions as they are being reopened globally.

Yahoo Finance’s Heidi Chung contributed to this story.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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