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Impact Of Food Shortages On American Restaurants

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While mainstream media outlets are focused on other current events, eateries in the United States are facing their biggest struggle. On March 24, 2022, US President Joe Biden went public to warn of “real food shortages.” Biden contributes the food shortages to the “Russian invasion,” but some people believe there were warning signs before Russia invaded Ukraine. Whatever the case may be, small American diners, cafes, dairy bars, and cafeterias are reporting eggs, cheese, beef, and other food shortages. 

Food shortages are a growing concern for not only restaurants but also grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, and people. There are always concerns when it comes to food supply issues. In the meantime, owners of restaurants in the United States need to take matters into their own hands. Learn more by reading the content provided in the article below.

Decrease Food Waste

What is one of the main culprits of food shortages, even in homes? Food waste is a major issue that needs to be addressed by federal and state politicians. According to statistics, the average individual household recyclable waste is 1.6 pounds per day. When you consider this high volume of waste, there is doubt food shortages are on the horizon. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, US states and cities are struggling with supply chain issues. Government officials continuously encourage American citizens to be patient. While some improvement has been noted since the ban was lifted, the President’s warning still bears on some people’s minds. 

Owners need to train their food preparation workers to only take what they need to fill their customers’ orders. Avoiding waste will help ensure your customers’ orders are completed without having to jump through extra hoops.

Change Suppliers

It is a fact, that some brand restaurants are struggling to obtain specific food items from their current suppliers. Hardee’s, McDonald’s, Arby’s, Burger King, Zaxbys, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Panera Bread, and other fast-food restaurants are just a few examples. Public food shortage reports among American fast-food chains have been minimal at best.

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If you are struggling to obtain a specific food item, do not hesitate to look for another supplier. This does not necessarily mean that you need to fully give up on your current supplier, it can be a temporary fix. 

Change Menu

If your food shortage entails ingredients like eggs, wheat, milk, flaxseed, and creamer, you should make a few changes to your menu. It is possible to substitute some of these ingredients, with similar alternatives. Of course, this will not work for all recipes, but it will work for the majority of them. 

It is also recommended to swap recipes that are lacking the required ingredients. 

Higher Supplier Prices

Inflation is impacting consumers and businesses equally. However, many of those prices are being passed to consumers. Regardless, many restaurants are struggling to keep up with the progressively increasing prices. In February 2022, it was announced that restaurant menu prices are the highest in 40 years. As for producer prices for food, they climbed 13% at that time. Restaurant chains have continued to increase prices to keep up with increased supplier prices. A handful of issues have led to this problem.

First, there have been massive supply chain problems making it difficult for companies to ship their products to restaurants. Harvests have been impacted by climate change, fires, droughts, and other issues. Labor costs are also rising. Finally, supplier prices are higher because transportation costs have soared. Since the beginning of the year, oil prices have steadily risen in the United States and abroad. Brent is more than $110 while WTI Crude is higher than $107.

These added costs are being passed to restaurants that eventually pass them onto the consumer.

Labor Costs

Restaurants around the world are experiencing higher labor costs. Unfortunately, the pandemic caused many workers to leave the workforce due to health issues, childcare problems, and more. While the unemployment rate is 3.6%, many people have never returned to the workforce. More than 6 million people have left the workforce. Suffice to say, restaurants have to compete harder for workers. They’re achieving this goal by paying higher wages.

Once again, these prices are being passed to consumers. In some cases, businesses haven’t been able to find suitable workers. As a result, they’re closing stores early or not opening on certain days.

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