South African fast-food giant Nando shuts 50 UK stores due to supply shortages

UK – South African multinational fast-food chain Nandos has shut down 50 stores across the United Kingdom due to raw material shortages. 

In a statement, Nando’s said it will lend some of its staff to its suppliers to help “get things moving” in the supply chain  

“The U.K. food industry has been experiencing disruption across its supply chain in recent weeks, due to staff shortages and Covid isolations, and a number of our restaurants have been impacted,” said Nando’s, in a response to The Times. 

The chain said delivery schedules meant the situation was changing rapidly and suggested customers check the website before they visit. 

Aggrieved customers took to Twitter to air their grievances, to which Nando’s responded apologetically that their supply chain was experiencing “a bit of a ’mare,” as in nightmare. 

Food and other supply chains across the UK have struggled to operate normally this summer, due to what has been dubbed the “pingdemic” – staff being required to self-isolate if they have come into contact with someone with coronavirus. 

Last month, dairy giant Arla had to cut back on milk deliveries to supermarkets due to lorry driver shortages, leaving some supermarket shelves short of stock. 

Last week rival fast food chicken store KFC said some items were missing from its menus due to “disruption”. 

The chicken shortage might not be just a temporary problem. Britain is struggling with a national shortage of truck drivers, and a shortage of workers in its meat industry. 

 The coronavirus is part of the problem, but so are new immigration and paperwork rules that came into effect with Brexit. According to the Financial Times, around 60 percent of the U.K.’s poultry workers come from E.U. countries. 

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To help alleviate the labor shortage problem, the UK government recently released an update on the self-isolation rules exempting  fully vaccinated staff from mandatory self-isolate. 

The government hopes that this measure will ease the pressure on businesses running short of staff. 

At the same time Nando’s says it is exploring an alternative solution by offering its staff to help suppliers, although it didn’t say whether any had accepted the offer, or what work they would be doing. 

The South African chain, famous for its peri peri sauce, operates more than 400 restaurants across the UK. 

Nando’s said the shortages were not affecting any of their outlets in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. 

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