As you may know, The Motley Fool as of late has been highlighting how Fools can best prepare their portfolios for adversity. Every company has potential pitfalls and does its best to avoid them. Unfortunately, there will always be events beyond anyone's control, where the only course of action is to play the cards dealt. For restaurant stocks, that means having to deal with the niceties of possible foodborne dangers, such as mad cow disease or the avian flu virus.
Fortunately for U.S consumers, the bird flu has not yet reached our shores. But fear has nonetheless swept through the stocks of well-known poultry producers and some related dining establishments. Just last month, shares of the largest poultry producers, including Pilgrim's Pride
Those frumpy doomsayers fear that bird flu, already found in countries such as Indonesia, could easily spread and set off a terrible global human pandemic. That would definitely be a calamity, but it's clearly a worst-case scenario. Nonetheless, proactive companies have been wisely developing contingency plans to develop as many game plans as possible to protect their consumers and franchises.
This includes a number of names consumers are familiar with, including Yum! Brands
On the domestic front, Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick Buffalo Wild Wings
Overall, it's obviously difficult to predict what will happen going forward. The best we can hope for is that bird flu stays away from countries fortunate enough to have no reported cases so far, and that those countries already affected are able to treat current victims and avoid any further spread of the disease.
It's impossible to completely eliminate some risks, but it's quite possible for an astute firm to effectively manage any adversity that may come down its path. Those types of firms are for Fools, not for the birds.
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Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann has no financial interest in any company mentioned. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy. Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further.