You can’t go a day in business without overhearing supply chain woes now; and for owners and managers in the restaurant industry, you can’t go a day without new challenges those consequences present.
Industry representatives are noticing supply chain shortages across the board; but for restaurants, the shortage of to-go materials is increasing. Beginning in 2020, with a sudden need to shift business focus from in-person dining to to-go orders, restaurant managers and suppliers began to notice the decrease in product availability. Now, even with in-person dining reinstated, to-go business remains high—at a time when supplies are at an all-time low. Research firm Datassential conducted a study on the issue, and more than 50% of respondents noted shortages or even unavailability of to-go packaging, according to an article from Nation’s Restaurant News.
What’s more, with demand on the quick-rise, restauranteurs now also need to consider increased pricing. In the same Datassential study, 72% of respondents cited increased costs, and researchers found that “to-go packaging was second only to beef among products that have seen the largest price inflation over the preceding three months.”
Although we know the why—“a result of the same factors threatening most commodities: back-up at the nation’s ports, the lack of truck drivers to move product to warehouses, and the labor crisis that impacts speed at every step of the process,” says Nation’s Restaurant News—there are no cut-and-dry solutions for dealing with the issue immediately.
This major industry-wide challenge requires flexibility, creativity—and a close watch on budgets. Our restaurant consultants use cost analysis with our clients to make pricing and offering adjustments in order to compensate for these industry fluctuations.
Richard Weil, principal and owner of National Restaurant Consultants, who has earned the high accreditation as a Certified Master Food Professional (CFMP) from the acclaimed Food Service Institute (FSI) notes, “Operators must be not only pivot to alternative items, but also sustain quality at all costs to assure guests a positive experience. This includes packaging and presentation, which should not be compromised. This can be difficult, and considering creative alternatives and solutions will pay off with guests and staff alike.”
For more ideas on creative solutions, contact one of our experienced restaurant consultants. All National Restaurant Consultants have earned one or more professional industry certifications from FSI.