By Jacob Bunge

Major restaurant suppliers say the industry is getting ready to resume more normal operations, based on orders for deep-fryer oil and chicken.

Archer Daniels Midland Co., one of the world's biggest sellers of vegetable oil and sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, said sales to restaurant operators are picking up over the last two weeks. "Probably we saw the trough in late April," Chief Executive Juan Luciano said Thursday on the company's quarterly conference call. "There is more energy in the foodservice markets."

U.S. fast-food restaurants are ramping up chicken orders, according to Pilgrim's Pride Corp., the second-largest U.S. poultry supplier by sales. "We are seeing those coming back today to very close to pre-Covid-19 levels," said CEO Jayson Penn on the Pilgrim's quarterly call Thursday.

The restaurant industry has been hard hit by stay-at-home orders and state governments calling for dining room closures. Even McDonald's, which estimates nearly 90% of its U.S. sales currently are being made through drive-throughs, said Thursday that the trajectory of its recovery is unclear.

Write to Jacob Bunge at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 30, 2020 13:36 ET (17:36 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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