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Global Supply Chain Problems Result in Summer Shortages at Restaurants

Restaurants around the United States have recently been experiencing product shortages at various locations thanks to global supply chain problems. Many restaurants, whether they’re fast food or sit-down restaurants, have had issues receiving many products or supplies needed to help their business run smoothly. Products that have recently been short in these restaurants include plastic packing material, paper bags, and other types of non-food items.

Food-wise, this summer has already forced many businesses to experience problems with ordering and receiving hot dogs, chicken wings, and key ingredients to their menu.

These issues aren’t just in the United States, though. These supply chain problems have become global issues, as restaurants and businesses around the world grapple with item shortages on a sometimes daily basis.

Restaurants have been experiencing these shortages mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As so many in the United States — and worldwide — have become vaccinated, consumer demand to go out and eat has skyrocketed when compared to how many countries have spent the last year with regulations, or in some sort of lockdown. Because of this huge demand, many manufacturers have struggled to keep up.

However, these item shortages don’t necessarily mean that the product itself is scarce. Instead, the supply chain has continued to experience stress and problems related to the pandemic. Cargo ship, train, and truck networks are still struggling to catch up. The same goes for factories, farms, and warehouses, many of which are dealing with forms of labor shortages or facility closures.

As a result, item shortages have ranged from food to non-food items. These supply bottlenecks could even continue well into 2022, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard. As the United States continues to fully reopen, Europe and other markets are almost certainly behind, which will continue to put a high amount of stress on the global supply chain.

These item shortages have affected big fast-food chains and franchises in different ways. KFC, Starbucks, Wendy’s, and Chipolte have all experienced food or item shortages at some of their locations, or franchises. These shortages vary, though, and seem to only affect certain store locations, rather than all stores in a specific region. Plus, many of these big chains have managed to fix the situation quickly, resulting in these shortages not becoming too big of an issue.

Of course, as more countries continue to speedily reopen as the United States has, the global supply chain may continue to experience immense stress, and therefore have a hard time catching up. This may, in turn, continue to force restaurants (both big and small) to experience item shortages.

The shortages have also affected various countries differently. In the United States, there has been quite a big iced green tea shortage. In South Korea, meanwhile, they’ve experienced a rather large french fry shortage. 

Obviously, many restaurants and franchises have become worried about these supply chain issues. If customers don’t get the food items they want on the menu at locations, they’ll just go to the competitor who has what they want. Therefore, many restaurants and businesses are hopeful that this issue will soon rectify itself, somehow.


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