Fast food chains, including McDonald’s and Burger King, have started to serve their burgers without tomatoes in South Korea due to lack of supply.
The supply of tomatoes has been badly impacted in the country after the agriculture sector was hit by a long rainy season and several typhoons this year.
According to a report by Korea Times, a number fast food franchises in South Korea decided to replace tomato in their items with more vegetables and sauces, while a few others are offering free drinks coupon and discount on burgers that would normally contain tomato slices.
Last week, Burger King posted a notice on its official website, letting customers know that its restaurants would add extra sauce and vegetables in the burger items if they run out of tomatoes.
The notice said: “Due to the effects of typhoons and the abnormal climate this summer, we are having difficulty supplying tomatoes to our restaurants in the country. The stock of tomatoes will differ, depending on the branches, but many of them are running out of the ingredient. It is our first time experiencing such a situation and we do not know when we will get a stable supply.”
Lotteria is offering price discounts for customers to compensate for the lack of tomato in its burgers while McDonald’s is providing a free drinks coupon, along with burgers that do not have tomato slices.
A Lotteria official said: “Tomato slices in a burger cost about KRW300, and we have decided to deduct the amount from the original price at all our restaurants starting Thursday.”
Meanwhile, the shortage of tomatoes has raised its price by 110% from last month’s price.
The tomato supply in the country is expected to return to normal by the end of next month.