According to new research from BRITA Professional, 61% of businesses surveyed had reduced opening hours over the last 12-months as a result of supply chain disruptions, rising costs and labour shortages.
Some 56% of operators have also decreased the variety on offer for consumers with 37% of participants serving smaller portion sizes.
In addition, 57% of the 500 respondents said staff mental health had been negatively impacted while 46% stated customer service levels had also suffered.
Myriad of factors
BRITA business account manager Chris Fay said: “When it comes to putting a plate of food on the table, reliance on the supply chain is immeasurable.
“However, with inflation, international conflict, staffing issues and extreme weather, there are a myriad of factors impacting the UK’s supply chain today.”
Those surveyed as part of the research, which is part of BRITA Professional’s Rely Chain campaign, explained ongoing issues had caused price increases in ingredients, catering equipment, labour and fuel, with many reporting operating cost increase of around 30%.
When describing their current supply chain and procurement process 30% of respondents said it was “flexible” and their supply chain orders “change to match demand” with only 16% having found their processes “inefficient”.
Additionally, more than half (52%) of operators claimed to have started buying from supermarkets and wholesalers directly while 27% said they had started using “unusual ingredients”, which weren’t previously on menus.
To help boost the reliability of supply chains, 59% of operators surveyed were working to form closer relations with suppliers to understand the challenges they face to help avoid shortages and disruptions while 53% had started working with local suppliers.
Moreover, 34% had started having open discussions with suppliers about their needs at the time of onboarding, 20% had started creating more bespoke orders and 22% were working with suppliers that provide more reliable and longer lasting equipment.
Fay added: “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.”