From struggling to receive ingredients to running low on packaging supplies, many operators are fighting to stay afloat with the current supply chain issues. While these unprecedented times are causing restaurateurs to panic, learn how increasing flexibility and being transparent at every juncture will help your business weather the storm.
1. Streamline Your Menu
Whether you're struggling to find help in the kitchen or ingredients you typically use, consider condensing your menu. Remove menu items that feature ingredients priced too high and consistently arrive late or in incorrect quantities. Streamline your menu to ease the day-to-day stress of wondering whether or not your orders will be properly fulfilled. It also provides your staff with fewer ingredients to work with, helping increase their efficiency.
To combat the supply chain issues, operators should think about creating a seasonal menu. Most distributors have an abundance of seasonal ingredients, making them easily accessible and affordable. Offering seasonal dishes excites regulars and encourages first-time customers to give your establishment a try.
2. Use Different Packaging
Many operators are struggling to find the packaging supplies they are accustomed to using due to the shortage of various materials. Rather than shutting down your take out and delivery services, consider using different packaging products. For instance, if your business relies heavily on 8-ounce plastic containers to pack side dishes, look into ordering a different size or material and adjust menu prices. Reach out to your suppliers to learn which packaging they have readily available and order those products. While they may not be the supplies you typically use, find ways to incorporate them into your business so you can continue to provide customers with exceptional service.
3. Look For Multiple Resources
Most vendors have low inventory numbers and cannot deliver the quantity of products operators request on time. Rather than relying on one supplier to provide you with supplies, feel free to look for other resources. Contact your approved vendors and ask about their inventory and shipping times to understand if it benefits your company to work with them. Having multiple suppliers increases the chances of your business finding the products it needs to operate similarly to pre-pandemic levels.
4. Communicate With Employees
When dealing with supply chain issues, it's essential to have conversations with employees about the problems you're dealing with so they understand why the business model is changing. Opening communication with staff members allows you to earn their trust and improve the company's culture. Employees will also be motivated to help you through these tough times rather than getting upset and leaving the company.
5. Inform Customers Of Issues
You may believe that informing patrons of the issues your operation is facing will drive them elsewhere. However, many customers will appreciate your transparency and be understanding of what your business is going through. Open communication with patrons ensures that your service meets their expectations, minimizing the complaints you receive for condensing your menu or not operating at 100 percent capacity. You can inform customers of the changes your foodservice establishment was forced to make due to the supply chain issues by:
- Updating your website
- Sending emails
- Posting signs in your establishment
- Including details on menus
- Telling patrons before seating them
Unfortunately, the supply chain issues aren't going away anytime soon. To allow your catering company or restaurant to operate smoothly again, remember to be flexible and adaptable until everything equalizes. You should also be in constant communication with your vendors and stay up-to-date with supply chain issues so you can make adjustments to your business model as needed.
Restaurantware understands the daily struggles establishments are facing. Our goal is to help your business find the products it needs to succeed. With a comprehensive collection of restaurant supplies and deep inventory levels, our staff can help your establishment battle the supply chain issues.