The food and beverage industry has experienced many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year. Businesses were affected differently – labor issues, supply shortages, reduced operating capacity, and other difficulties caused businesses to begin to think abstractly and problem-solve. Many found a way to adapt to these challenges and made the best of what could be a detrimental situation.
Supply and Demand, Then vs. Now
During the height of the shutdown, we experienced a broken supply chain unlike we’ve ever known. Manufacturers were forced to scale back, running at a reduced production level, and there were not enough truck drivers to move the product across the country. With most of the country shut down, the restaurants that remained open were able to procure plenty of products from their suppliers, sometimes even at a significantly reduced price.
Seemingly now on the other side of the nationwide shutdown, the country is open, and businesses are beginning to thrive again. Though business owners expect manufacturers to start operating at total capacity immediately, many manufacturers still the effects of feel labor shortages, causing product deficits across the board. In turn, these shortages are causing prices to increase significantly. We keep hearing the word “inflation,” but this is more of a supply and demand issue. When the labor shortages decrease, we will see manufacturers, truckers, and distributors get back to a fully-staffed level, which will mend the supply chain. We will then see total availability of products and price decreases. While the challenging times remain ahead of us, there is light at the end of the tunnel.