Yesterday the National Restaurant Association sent a letter to President Joseph R. Biden, highlighting how supply chain challenges and inflation are weighing down restaurant industry rebuilding and suggesting solutions that would have a long-term impact if implemented.
The letter highlights the current state of the industry, and how the drop in consumer confidence brought on by the delta variant this summer halted the small gains restaurants made earlier this year. At the same time, restaurants are facing massive supply shortages and delays while food costs are soaring. This situation is increasing costs, restricting supply, and limiting the industry’s ability to function. For example:
- 95% of restaurants have experienced significant supply delays or shortages of key food items in recent months, according to a recent national survey we conducted.
- 75% of restaurants have made menu changes because of supply chain challenges.
- Wholesale food prices increased sharply in September, posting the highest 12-month increase since 1980.
- Restaurant commodity prices are soaring with beef up nearly 60%, fats and oils up 50% and eggs up nearly 40%.
- Menu prices have risen 4.7% in last 12 months alone.
The solutions provided would impact the supply chain across the economy, including:
- Facilitating impactful solutions to workforce challenges through comprehensive immigration reform and expanded employment opportunities.
- Addressing transportation and shipping constraints by allowing more young people to enter the trucking industry as drivers.
- Using trade and import capabilities, including removing burdensome tariffs on food and beverage products and equipment used in the supply chain.
“Faced with these very challenging times, our industry is doing its level best to protect employees and customers, while restaurants are struggling to keep their doors open,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Taken together, these recommendations can work to help our nation’s restaurants that are being crippled as the pandemic rages on and supply chain challenges grow.”
Read the full letter here.