COVID-19 Coverage for Foodservice Supply Chain
September 20, 2021
Shortages and sourcing issues are becoming the new normal for restaurant operators.
September 17, 2001
Palm-oil plantations and coffee farms struggle with labor shortages and transportation curbs as cases surge.
September 13, 2021
COVID's resurgence is creating whiplash for restaurants.
September 1, 2021
The National Restaurant Association released a mid-year supplement to the 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, illustrating the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry. The update looks at key indicators and trends influencing the industry’s recovery as of June/July 2021, including the current state of the economy, workforce, operational costs, and food and beverage sales.
August 25, 2021
Some of the largest U.S. food distributers are reporting difficulties in fulfilling orders.
August 24, 2021
Codes help adjust menu offerings on the fly, accounting for elements like inflation, fluctuations in food and commodities prices, and other variables.
August 10, 2021
Some consumers are rethinking their return to dining out, according to executives and industry data, a shift that threatens the U.S. restaurant sector’s rebound.
August 9, 2021
New York City will be first in the U.S. to require people to show proof of vaccination to dine indoors at restaurants, causing a ripple effect of responses.
August 2, 2021
How COVID has forced restaurants to re-think what they serve.
July 19, 2021
Demand is soaring, but so are the costs restaurants face — for ingredients, supplies, and staff which are all in short supply. The dynamic is playing out on the menu in the form of pricier meals.
June 28, 2021
Just when demand is surging, hospitality businesses are squeezed from all sides, including lack of workers and rising costs of supplies.
June 4, 2021
We are now in the most violent inventory cycle since the early 1920s.
June 3, 2021
Since the pandemic started, permanent laws have passed in 13 states, with bills active in at least six others. The rules vary. Some require food purchases, others impose drink limits or mandate tamper-proof containers.
May 21, 2021
“The start up has been, in many ways, as difficult as the shutdown…Everybody is trying to turn it on immediately and the capacity might not be there.”
May 20, 2021
A vast majority of restaurant operators reported that profitability is down from pre-pandemic levels and costs are up.
April 28, 2021
Despite the pressures of COVID, sustainable packaging has emerged as a top priority as consumers show more interest in their environmental footprint and that of the overall food system.
April 5, 2021
Disruptions of the raw materials for many common kinds of plastics are now occurring. They are the latest problem to strike global supply chains.
April 2, 2021
COVID-19 disruptions highlighted the benefits of real-time data and emphasized to procurement leaders that they need visibility into suppliers and sourcing to know how to best react with agility to disruptions.
March 29, 2021
The Suez backlog threatens to make it even more difficult for European and U.S. companies to keep products in stock.
March 25, 2021
The blockage comes on top of the disruption to world trade already caused in the past year by COVID-19.
March 17, 2021
The latest on indoor dining and vaccinations.
March 10, 2020
The findings don’t prove cause and effect, but the statistically significant patterns are in line with previous studies and expert advice
March 3, 2021
Governor said the Lone Star State must open 100% to ‘restore livelihoods and normalcy’; Mississippi also lifts restrictions.
March 2, 2021
Some restaurant chains that already rely on drive-throughs are bulking up with even grander versions, in part to help meet a rise in digital orders.
February 22, 2021
“Our confidence in the safety of the U.S. food supply remains steadfast" says the FDA, USDA.
February 8, 2021
The backups have tied up inventories for weeks in some cases as ships wait to reach berths while cargo that has been offloaded sits for long periods at packed freight terminals, where operations have slowed as dockworkers have coped with an outbreak of coronavirus cases.
February 2, 2021
Supplies of major commodity crops are dwindling worldwide as buyers hoard food supplies.
January 27, 2021
Restaurants were hit harder than any other industry.
January 21, 2021
Employment has remained fairly flat in long-distance general freight transport as drivers prefer to stay close to home during the pandemic.
Restaurants across segments have simplified menus to meet the surge in off-premises orders. Full-service restaurants were most likely to streamline menus, with 63% of fine dining restaurants and 53% of casual dining restaurants offering fewer menu items in 2020, compared to 35% of quick-service restaurants.
January 15, 2021
35 ships are anchored off the west coast awaiting berthing spots with congestion expected to continue until at least February. The port facilities have been slowed in part by impact of COVID-19 on labor availability which also affects turnaround time for truckers at all terminals.
January 14, 2021
Trucking companies have not fully recovered their employment levels to where they were when the pandemic began. In the meantime, freight volumes have expanded beyond where they were in March of last year. Most forecasts show demand staying elevated for the first half of 2021 but there could be a bright spot to it all.
January 13, 2021
Dwindling stockpiles of U.S. grains have sent prices for corn, soybeans and wheat skyrocketing.This marks a sharp reversal from earlier in the year, when the global coronavirus pandemic cast doubt about grain consumption. Now, demand is climbing, particularly from China, which needs grains to rebuild hog herds after culling millions infected by African swine fever.
January 2, 2020
KFC, Taco Bell orders fast food growth to go.
December 23, 2020
As temperatures plunge and people retreat back inside, some businesses that have come to rely heavily on their new outdoor spaces are finding themselves fighting for survival again - this time, in a battle with the weather.
December 21, 2020
Large dine-in chains are finding it difficult to enact uniform approaches to the pandemic when dealing with different regulations across the country about how they can operate.
December 20, 2020
New dining restrictions hurt Darden, Starbucks, Brinker.
December 18, 2020
Suppliers that can demonstrate they have an inoculated workforce will be in position to meet the forecasted post-pandemic economic expansion.
December 11, 2020
The order takes effect Monday and deals a major setback to city restaurants.
December 10, 2020
Things are changing -read the latest from the Restaurant Law Center.
December 8, 2020
You do not need us to tell you that things are very bad for almost everyone involved in New York’s hospitality industry, and yet somehow, this week, they’ve started to look even worse.
December 7, 2020
As government shutdowns increase again amid rising COVID-19 numbers, transactions are plunging at full-service restaurants across the United States.
November 30, 2020
Market analysts are working to make an unknowable number as knowable as possible with recent updates on expected restaurant closures. “While we expect same-store sales to backtrack in November given the cold weather, virus resurgence and lockdown restrictions in some markets, we don’t expect sales levels to fall below what is required to maintain positive cash flow”.
November 19, 2020
Here's the latest from the Restaurant Law Center with information about Kentucky, Minnesota and Oregon.
November 18, 2020
U.S. meat giants including Tyson, Cargill Inc. and JBS USA Holdings Inc. are working to defend against another rise in infections, issuing masks, checking employees’ temperatures and installing dividers between processing-line work stations. But weeks of record-breaking daily infection totals have the U.S. food sector again on edge for potential disruptions.
November 17, 2020
Food industry groups said they strongly support prioritizing essential workers in critical infrastructure industries, including those responsible for ensuring the continuity of the U.S. food supply. “Prioritizing vaccinations for food, agriculture, retail and [consumer packaged goods] workers will be a key intervention to help keep workers healthy and to ensure that agricultural and food supply chains remain operating”.
November 14, 2020
As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, a number of states and localities have instituted new restrictions on restaurants, including prohibitions on indoor dining. Read the latest from the Restaurant Law Center.
November 12, 2020
Food supplies have held up despite warnings. The last mile is still the most difficult. “There were issues in the fruit and vegetable supply chains and the meat processing chains, but markets reacted the way they should. Bulk products remained unscathed.”
November 10, 2020
Freight market described as “tight” and “chaotic”, with an influx of west coast containers, bottlenecks on the railroads and lack of warehouse labor leading to delays. The potential of a further wave of coronavirus is adding to demand.
November 4, 2020
As COVID-19 cases continue to increase around the country, several states have announced new mitigation measures that impact the restaurant industry. Read the latest from the Restaurant Law Center, visit restaurantlawcenter.org for more resources.
November 2, 2020
Wingstop Inc. began testing bone-in-thighs on menus in seven markets last week as a possible hedge against fluctuating fresh-wing prices, the company said Monday. “We recently negotiated a pricing mechanism with our largest poultry suppliers that mitigates the impact of continued inflation in bone-in chicken wings over the near-term.”
October 31, 2020
Some areas of the country have reimposed tighter restrictions on dining. Overall, chain restaurants are bouncing back more quickly than independent establishments, but the uncertainty around the surge of Covid-19 cases makes forecasting their recovery even more difficult.
October 28, 2020
Restaurants nervous about ordering cheese they can’t use are buying products just one month in advance versus their typical approach of booking purchases up to a year early. Producers worry, ‘How am I going to sell all this Parmesan?’
October 22, 2020
While demand is increasing, capacity is simultaneously decreasing, further elevating rates. Transportation capacity has reached a two-year low, and tender rejection rates are at an all-time high as a result. Although shipment volumes are accelerating, they’re not yet back to pre-pandemic numbers.
October 19, 2020
A month ago, the USDA estimated market hogs would sell for an average of $37 per 100 pounds during October, November, and December, compared with the current estimate of $51. The trend of higher prices will extend into early 2021 due to a pinch in pork output because fewer hogs will be available. “First-quarter 2021 hog prices are expect to averaged $47 per (100 pounds), almost 11% greater than a year ago.”
October 15, 2020
A number of factors are adding to a rally in prices for corn, wheat and soybeans, including floods in China and the country’s increased purchases to meet commitments under its phase one trade deal with the U.S. Others are hedging against Coronavirus. “Many may buy now but could buy less into the new year because they won’t need it”.
October 9, 2020
The pandemic has caused shortages of even basic items like paper bags, “It’s still a challenge. We are looking at import partners to fill in the gaps.” Sales for years were “spotty” for packages with tamper-proof seals until the pandemic arrived but now such bags, including those that are biodegradable, are in high demand.
COVID, drought and a lot of uncertainty around the world has driven strong demand for basic foodstuffs as well as posing logistical challenges to harvests and snarling supply chains. “There’s no shortage of wheat now, but what happens in the winter and next year?”
October 8. 2020
Given the uncertainty that lies ahead, it is especially important now that companies try to avoid antagonizing the members of their ecosystems. For procurement professionals, the temptation is to use their company’s clout to pressure suppliers to reduce prices. Here’s one unique solution to consider.
October 6, 2020
Cold storage facilities are having a moment as the food supply chain adapts to the pandemic. Americold is building two cold-storage facilities in Connecticut and Pennsylvania for Ahold Delhaize USA which are due to be completed in 2022.
October 3, 2020
Read the latest changes from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois and North Carolina.
October 1, 2020
The meat industry will increasingly look at automation and robotics as well as other ways of reducing the reliance on a labor force, especially since labor was an issue even prior to COVID-19. “Plants will look very different in the coming years”.
September 26, 2020
Read the latest changes from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington DC and Wyoming.
September 24, 2020
Pressures from foodservice and wholesale customers will be a balancing act for food companies throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021. Broiler prices were 20% lower in August and down 42% year over year for leg quarters.
September 23, 2020
JBS may have shipped 370% more U.S. pork to China this year through Aug. 31 than at the same period in 2017. Chinese demand is seen rising further after Beijing blocked imports from Germany, which has suffered an outbreak of ASF.
September 20, 2020
Rising production and lower demand are pushing down meat prices. Gordon Food Service Inc., one of the biggest U.S. distributors to restaurants, is selling some beef cuts for half what they cost a few months ago.
September 18, 2020
As firms search for ways to cut spending and forecast demand in unpredictable times, zero-based category management and zero-based budgeting are back in style. "It’s horribly painful and amazingly impactful” and also means re-thinking vendors.
September 14, 2020
The pandemic disrupted the supply chain, particularly in the foodservice sector where French fries made from frozen potatoes and russets grown for restaurants for baked potatoes went unsold.
September 13, 2020
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.
September 9, 2020
Indoor service can resume September 30th at 25% capacity - after a 5 month shutdown.
September 7, 2020
Now, chain operators are using whatever packaging they can get their hands on — at any cost — until they can once again access their preferred eco-friendly products.
September 4, 2020
With demand up, prices on spot markets are running well ahead of year-ago levels. The upswing in demand and spot-market pricing is raising costs for businesses hustling to replenish goods after coronavirus lockdowns, especially for key transport lanes from West Coast seaports
August 31, 2020
Recovery continued at a quicker pace for quick-service chains, with transactions down 8% compared to a year ago. Full-service chains, which were most impacted by mandated dine-in closings that slowly are being lifted, saw transactions decline 19% year-over-year, a 57-percentage point gain from the steepest decline of 76% in the week ended April 12.
August 28, 2020
The Cheesecake Factory rehires majority of 41,000 furloughed employees.
August 27, 2020
The firm said that it would have a hard time meeting high demand for certain products because of supply chain, staffing and production problems brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
August 25, 2020
As bars and restaurants closed customers rushed to buy canned drinks and food. "Demand is just kind of crazy".
August 24, 2020
With spot rates surging in recent months, the consensus should be that contract rates will soon rise. However, weakness in the economy could stall that.
It’s not all good news for farmers as the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. in March hobbled domestic demand for grains as restaurants and other institutions nationwide shut down.
August 20, 2020
For the first six months of the year, exports of American beef tumbled by 15%, probably due to COVID-19 turmoil, while pork exports soared by 28% compared with 2019 levels, said the USDA.
August 19, 2020
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for California, Florida, Illinois and Tennessee.
August 17, 2020
“When you add both the shutdowns of tasting rooms and closures of restaurants, 44% of sales fell out from underneath the wineries in one night”.
August 16, 2020
Outdoor dining has been a saving grace for restaurants with the space for it. When the weather no longer cooperates, “we could really be in trouble”.
August 14, 2020
“I don’t think that we’ll ever go back to the mix we ran prior,” said Brinker CEO Wyman Roberts, who credited the pandemic for pushing many consumers to try delivery through third-party apps for the first time.
August 13, 2020
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Two cities in China have found traces of the new virus in imported frozen food and on food packaging, raising fears that contaminated food shipments might cause new outbreaks.
August 12, 2020
The firm spent $350 million to protect workers and the food supply.
August 10, 2020
The U.S. Dairy Export Council reported that U.S. dairy exports in June were 28% higher in volume and 22% higher in value. “This year’s gains have been all the more impressive in that they were achieved during one of the most disrupted dairy trade environments in history”.
August 8, 2020
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates to Georgia, Idaho, illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island.
August 7, 2020
The food distribution industry expects to take a $110 billion loss for the year, or about a third of the industry's revenues in 2019. Many have been able to pivot, others were not so lucky.
The FDA is opting for a phased market removal because it balances uncertainty about the potential for public health risks with minimizing potential market disruptions during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
August 6, 2020
Led by vegetable oils, dairy products and sugar, food prices extended a rebound from the previous month following sharp falls triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
August 5, 2020
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with revisions for South Carolina.
August 4, 2020
Even after accounting for pandemic related costs, the business continued to show strength and resilience. “We are investing in operational flexibility to ensure that we can continue to meet customer demand while living in a potentially long-term COVID-19 environment”.
August 3, 2020
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with a revision to North Carolina.
August 2, 2020
McDonald’s, Shake Shack, Chipotle reset their businesses with a better understanding of the current stay-at-home lifestyle.
July 30, 2020
“For quick-service restaurants, they don’t want to reopen their dining rooms because this drags down profitability and increases costs.”
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with an update for Virginia.
July 29, 2020
The shift from supplying keg beer that was sold in bars and restaurants prior to March lockdowns, to consumer-direct in cans and bottles during the pandemic, has put a strain on inventory, as has the increasing consumer demand for canned beverages.
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with updates for Delaware, Kentucky and Utah
July 27, 2020
As beef producers struggled, the middle of the meat supply chain had huge margin spikes during the initial peak of the pandemic, demonstrating meat is a complicated business.
July 24, 2020
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center with revisions for Idaho, Louisiana, Oregon and Washington
July 23, 2020
Supply chain kinks required companies to learn more about what was happening in the supply chain, with freight and sourcing from suppliers. “Collaboration has reached a new level”.
July 22, 2020
Second-quarter sales for the beverage giant fell 28% from a year earlier as out-of-home consumption—everything from restaurants to vending machines—plummeted
July 21, 2020
Statewide restaurant closures and restrictions are having week to week impact on transaction numbers.
Slow slaughter capacity and backlog is creating “by far, the worst financial disaster ever for American hog farmers”.
The National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe team has updated the attached document which tracks state and local face covering and employee health screening requirements.
July 20, 2020
Given the heightened risk of supply chain disruption, many companies are challenged with having to take a closer look at their suppliers at a time when travel is difficult.
Poultry to account for half of world increase in meat consumption. Low economic growth this year could contribute to a further drop in agricultural commodity prices, at least in the short run.
July 17, 2020
New information from the Restaurant Law Center includes updates for Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.
July 16, 2020
The macroeconomic shocks induced by the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to put downward pressure on agricultural commodity prices with the potential for “a historically significant market shock” this year.
July 15, 2020
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center includes updates for California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee and Washington.
July 14, 2020
The beef processing industry is operating at 95% capacity with all facilities back online, pork production is up 10% over LY and chicken prices are improving.
July 13, 2020
The state is now expanding the shutdown of indoor dining at restaurants and wineries to all 58 California counties and the order also includes a complete shutdown of all bars.
Devastation for growers - Citigroup Inc. predicts that futures for arabica beans could drop roughly 10% in the second half of the year to about 90 cents a pound, hovering near break-even costs.
July 10, 2020
The firm is a large provider of buns and bread for foodservice and retail, product shortfall expected to be covered by other plants it operates for the near term.
Reopening foodservice outlets are helping but a slow road back to normal is expected. “We will be feeling the COVID impacts for at least two years, if not longer, as the supply chain disruptions even affected our seed potato supply”.
If and when operators can find the right products, many have come to accept that they will have to pay more for them and wait longer to receive them. “The supply chain has definitely been one of our biggest headaches”.
July 9, 2020
New Mexico will be closing indoor dining and Arizona is reducing indoor capacity to 50%. Read the latest from the Restaurant Law Center.
The pandemic is speeding the shift from human meat cutters to robotic butchers. Automation “is something we think is going to be revolutionary for our business. We are on the cusp of a significant rollout”.
The latest from the Restaurant Law Center includes updates to Florida, Georgia, New York and Tennessee.
July 8, 2020
Restaurant sales that had been improving since hitting lows in April are now sputtering in the first states to log rising case counts such as Arizona, North Carolina and Nevada.
July 7, 2020
Restaurants in Miami-Dade County and 6 additional California Counties must close indoor dining, and capacity has been reduced in Nashville. Read the latest from the Restaurant Law Center.
July 6, 2020
Growing outbreaks among farmworkers nationwide come as most employers are looking to reduce the threat of outbreaks among their workers and the coronavirus continues to sicken workers at U.S. meatpacking plants.
July 3, 2020
The small businesses in the extended supply chain, hidden from view in the lower tiers, present the most risk and the least amount of control. It's their failure that may have the greatest impact on your business and customers.
Recovery could take 1-4 years, profit margins will be hit by messy re-balancing, companies will need to rewire for agility versus trying to achieve static optimization states. Let's hope farmers and food producers can hang on.
July 2, 2020
Here's the latest information from the Restaurant Law Center.
The indoor dining postponement in New York City and ban in counties in California followed postponements in New Jersey, Philadelphia and roll-backs of dine-in restrictions in Texas and Florida.