Supply Chain Disruptions Weighing on Restaurants’ Food And Product Inventory

The food and hospitality industry continues to be an important economic driver for the US economy, comprising about 9.5% of GDP. Supply chain disruptions are weighing on restaurants’ ability to stock their shelves with inventory.
The emergence and persistence of supply chain disruptions continue to weigh on the restaurants’ ability to stock their shelves and maintain their menu variety. Though these interruptions have come in many forms throughout the years, one major disruptor for 2021 has been the lasting impacts of the COVID- 19 pandemic.
In this post, we will discuss the top issues that arise with supply chain disruptions, how each have impacted the business side of the restaurant industry, and how restaurants are responding to these disruptions.

How Restaurants Have Responded to Supply Chain Disruptions Now

In the present supply chain landscape, we're seeing restaurants and other food-related businesses embrace technology like never before. From chatbots that help customers place orders to GPS-enabled delivery vehicles and drones, it's clear there are a ton of new technologies emerging in response to disruptions.
 Some of the most popular technologies include: 

  1. Chatbots: helping to automate some customer service tasks so restaurants can focus on more important things.

  2. GPS/self-driving vehicles: for deliveries, this technology enables companies to get goods where they need them with fewer drivers in less time. For example, UPS is already using autonomous delivery trucks - and they're reporting big savings.

  3.  Drones: many restaurants are using drones to deliver food in some cases, while others use them for business purposes like inspections of new locations or deliveries of supplies.

These are just a few of the emerging technologies that restaurants and other food-related businesses are using to adapt. Check out the BDO article on Technology Trends Reshaping Restaurants in 2021 for additional insights.   
The bottom line is that disruption can trigger challenges, but there are a number of viable solutions to help overcome the disruption and help you and your restaurant thrive. If your supply chain breaks down or there's a change in the food landscape, operators can you these tips to get back on track:

  1. Build relationships with different suppliers so you've got lots of options when the time comes. This is a great time to test the waters with new suppliers, too.

  2. Be open to emerging technologies that can help streamline your processes and ensure you're always prepared for disruptions of all kinds.

  3. Ask questions until you understand what's going on so you can quickly recognize problems - then do something about it!

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