In recent months supply chains have found themselves in a critical position, grappling with the aftermath of unprecedented times and challenges, as such, the hospitality industry has been hit with ever rising costs and labour shortages.  

BRITA Professional has carried out research among those that work in the sector to identify the biggest challenges within the supply chain and how hospitality professionals are overcoming these to reduce the impact on businesses and employees. 

The new research from BRITA Professional, as part of its Rely Chain campaign, revealed that as a result of rising costs, labour shortages and supply chain disruptions, there has been a knock-on effect on service elements including:  

·        Reduced opening hours (61%) 

·        Staff mental health impacted negatively (57%)  

·        Less menu variety offered to customers (56%) 

·        Poor customer service (46%) 

·        Smaller portion sizes (37%) 

In the last 12 months alone, those surveyed have seen price increases in ingredients, catering equipment, labour and fuel/energy, citing they’ve seen price rises of up to 30% across items and services.  

Supply chain disruptions are causing an array of business implications, including menus having to be changed at the last minute, which cause failure to meet customer expectations (57%) and increased stress on the workforce (54%).  

When describing their current supply chain and procurement process 30% of operators said it was ‘flexible’ and that their supply chain orders ‘change to match demand’ with only 16% claiming they found their processes inefficient.  

Over half (52%) of operators in the hospitality industry have begun buying from supermarkets and wholesalers directly, with others diversifying their supply chain (44%). They have also ensured that their equipment is reliable to reduce stress for staff members (34%) and started using unusual ingredients which weren’t previously on menus (27%).  

But, with all the issues around rising costs and supply chains, operators have been taking steps to make their supply chain relationships more reliable. This includes: 

·        Forming closer relations with suppliers to understand the challenges they face (59%) 

·        Working with suppliers to help avoid shortages and disruptions (59%) 

·        Working with local suppliers (53%) 

·        Open discussions about needs at time of onboarding (34%) 

·        Working with suppliers that provide more reliable and longer lasting equipment (22%) 

·        Creating more bespoke orders (20%) 

Chris Fay, C.F.S.P Business Account Manager at BRITA, says:  

“When it comes to putting a plate a food on the table, reliance on the supply chain is immeasurable. Inflation, international conflict, staffing issues and extreme weather… there are a myriad of factors impacting the UK’s supply chain today.  

Some of our findings just can’t be ignored which is why are shining a light on fostering reliability within the catering supply chain and emphasising the importance of working together during tough times so the benefits can be felt by all. We’ve brought together leaders from across the industry to discuss the biggest challenges whilst uncovering innovative solutions and have done this through a series of collaborative roundtables to seek support in finding lasting solutions.” 

For more information on BRITA Professional’s Rely Chain campaign, please visit: 

BRITA Professional: 01869 365 851 or Connect on LinkedIn via BRITA Group