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How Restaurants are Responding to Supply Chain Disruptions



Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one industry has deeply felt the secondary impacts, and that is restaurants.

Long-established restaurant institutions have been forced to close their doors forever. Those that were able to survive the lockdowns still had to face letting go of beloved staff members, only to face labor shortages later and the unending supply chain issues.

Supply chain troubles emerged later in the pandemic and resulted from shutdowns at different points in the global distribution pathways. Many delays occur as a result of lockdowns in manufacturing and factories.

For many, the supply chain's shortages and instability have demonstrated the importance of shorter global supply lines. Some global regions have even taken to reopening manufacturing sectors as a method of sustainability planning for future interruptions.

For restaurants, the supply-chain bottlenecks of everything from avocados to walk-in freezers, to paper products and takeout containers. Unfortunately, these shortages are also likely to be ongoing through 2022, and shortages result in drastic price increases as if to further punish an already struggling industry.

With 1 in 10 restaurants closing permanently during this period, restaurants are looking for ways to effectively respond to all of the challenges that have arisen to either sink or swim. Not least of all, some restaurants are even finding innovative ways of responding to supply chain shortages.

Diversifying Suppliers

The best way for restaurants to respond to shortages as a result of supply chain disruptions is to seek out new suppliers and actually begin ordering from a larger variety of suppliers instead of just one or two.

Restaurant suppliers are also facing the same issues as restaurants; prices are too high, and there is not enough availability. As a result, suppliers also have to make tough decisions on availability and pricing. With everything in flux and less price-fixing and standardization, shopping from a variety of sources can yield savings and varying availability.

Substituting Menu Items

By this point, diners who pay the least bit of attention to the news and current events should feel pretty sympathetic for their local restaurants. Supply chain disruptions continue to affect everyone.

Diners will understand menu substitutions as long as the situation is explained. For instance, while avocado is more expensive and less available, brunch spots could consider substituting hummus or other vegetable or bean-based toppings.

Hardships present the possibility for innovations. In the restaurant industry, culinary innovation is highly sought after, so for many chefs, thinking their way around menu substitutions could lead to some very exciting prospects.

Take Advantage of the Walk-In

The unfortunate reality is that most restaurants have to deal with a lot of food waste. This is somewhat unavoidable due to the unpredictable fluctuations of restaurant patronage.

Consider doing the extra work to process leftover food so that it can be frozen for later use. While processing this food into recipe components for regular menu items is difficult, the stored food could be repurposed for specials or staff meals.

Calculate Profitability on the Regular

Regularly calculating restaurant profitability will go alongside adjusting menus and making substitutions.

The only way to survive the onslaught of shortages and rising prices is by monitoring profit levels to ensure that more money does not go into solving the problem than is needed.

Businesses that are not accounting for the increasing prices and resulting substitutions can find themselves very quickly in undue financial hardship. Falling into financial hardship at a time when restaurants are only just regaining their footing could be a disaster.

Use the Right Technology

None of this is possible without the right technology on your side. Accurate recording software will ease the burdens of this time by keeping track of inventory, payroll, legal requirements, tips, and costs.

Restaurants are an industry that happens to have money going in and out from a lot of different avenues. There is cash flow to manage and deliveries in and out of the restaurant and payroll (which includes tips).

Technology like TipHaus is automated and can sync to existing POS systems to be transparent to staff and efficient for managers to account for payroll and reporting. In these especially difficult times, the best play is to have every bit of help in your corner possible.

For more information about how TipHaus can ease the burdens of your restaurant,contact us today!

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