Greggs, McDonalds, KFC, Nando and more hit as supply crisis deepens

(Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

British bakery chain Greggs Plc said on Wednesday (25) that it too has been hit by supply chain interruptions that are currently impacting businesses across the retail and hospitality sector in Britain.

“Unfortunately, like others, we’re seeing temporary interruptions in supply for some ingredients which occasionally results in shops not being able to maintain full availability on all lines”, a Greggs spokesperson said in a statement.

Greggs has been reportedly facing shortages of its popular chicken-based products though the company spokesperson insisted that “there are no current supply issues with our chicken bakes”.

Several retailers, cafes and restaurants are reportedly struggling for the past couple of months to cope with a shortage of food processing staff and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.

McDonald’s, which has some 1,250 outlets in the UK, said on Tuesday (24) it had taken milkshakes and bottled drinks off the menu from all of its British restaurants while its rival KFC had claimed earlier it has been facing some disruption due to which it was struggling to stock some items or use its normal packaging.

Chicken restaurant chain Nando’s last week was forced to temporarily close more than 40 outlets in Britain due to staff shortages in its chicken supply chain.

Subway has confirmed that it is experiencing some issues. It said there may be some shortages of fresh produce but insisted any disruption to customers would be minimal.

The problem of staff shortage is not unique to Britain – the United States and other European countries are said to be facing shortages – but Brexit has made matters worse, , as per UK industry groups.

Iceland and Co-op were the latest grocers to address supply issues in stores.

While Co-op chief Steve Murrells warned how food shortages are at the “worst level” he’s ever seen, Richard Walker, managing director of the frozen food giant, has said he fears supply chain issues could “cancel” Christmas this year.

Calling on the government to change the rules for drivers to allow for more emergency workers from overseas to help solve the problem, Tesco boss John Allan recently said they currently don’t have the capacity to build stock for the festive holiday in December, as they usually would, due to a shortage of drivers, reports said.

“At the moment we’re running very hard just to keep on top of the existing demand and there isn’t the capacity to build stocks that we’d like to see. So, in that sense, I think there may be some shortages at Christmas,”  Allan told BBC Radio 4’s World at One.