Where's the beef? To the surprise of almost no one the beef herd shrunk to its smallest size in...

|By:, SA News Editor

Where's the beef? To the surprise of almost no one the beef herd shrunk to its smallest size in 39 years this summer as a drought in the Midwest ravaged crops. Execs with hamburger chains have already seen the writing the wall, warning in repeated Q&A sessions on conference calls (transcipts: MCD, WEN, RRGB) that they will implement modest price increases - but the question remains of how hard beef inflation will hit their bottom lines. Margin watch: MCD, WEN, BKC, SONC, BLMN, JACK