Supply-Chain Issues Disrupt Foodservice

Big-name chains suffer shortages of high-demand ingredients.

July 01, 2021

Food Delivery Truck

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—U.S. foodservice operators and retailers are facing a supply-chain crisis that has limited some key ingredients, according to Business Insider.

A recent report found that at least nine restaurants and fast-food chains, including Subway and Chipotle, were out of stock of some items at certain locations. A Wendy's franchisee in the South told a Reuters reporter that it had received only half the lettuce it had ordered. Meanwhile, a Subway location in New York was out of roast beef, rotisserie chicken, ketchup and spicy mustard.

One Chipotle store in New Jersey had no barbacoa or carnitas during a busy lunchtime slot, while a Starbucks in upstate New York was out of various items, including green iced tea and cinnamon dolce syrup, for months.

Earlier this month, a leaked Starbucks memo said the coffee outlets would stop ordering at least 25 items because of supply-chain issues. A spokesperson for the company said that the shortages were temporary and varied by store.

The ongoing shortage of truck drivers and labor in general, plus freight supply chain constraints is pressuring prices, and some retailers and restaurants are passing them on to consumers. Early last month, Chipotle reported it would boost menu prices by 4% to offset higher wages and the rising cost of ingredients, such as avocados and corn. Red Robin and Cracker Barrel have also lifted prices by about 3%, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Analysts predict the supply-chain crisis will extend into 2022.

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