By Natalie DeCoste
Supply chain problems have been plaguing American consumers since the start of the pandemic, and the latest word coming from the restaurant industry reveals these issues have not gone away.
Two major chains, Starbucks and Taco Bell, have warned consumers that some of their menu items may not be available.
Taco Bell is facing displeased customers complaining about the chain’s lack of hot sauce. The popular Mexican fast-food chain has posted to its website letting customers know about the unfortunate situation to get ahead of consumers’ displeasure.
“Sorry if we can’t feed your current crave. Due to national ingredient shortages and delivery delays, we may be out of some items,” reads an orange banner with bold lettering on the top of Taco Bell’s website.
Hot sauce is not the only thing missing from Taco Bell’s supplies as consumers have taken to social media to complain about the lack of beef, chicken, and 10-inch tortillas at the Yum Brands division of the chain, which runs nearly 7,500 Taco Bells, most of them in the U.S.
“For anyone craving taco bell tonight, I’ll save you the drive, they don’t have chicken or beef, national shortage or something. I just ate black beans in a hard shell. Was not worth it,” wrote one unhappy customer on Twitter.
Starbucks faced the same supply chain problems and has responded similarly to Taco Bell by issuing a warning to its customers via the Starbucks app.
“We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Due to supply shortages, some items are temporarily unavailable. Check out the menu for new options or ask your barista for a recommendation. We appreciate your patience,” read the company’s message.
Companies across America faced the same issues as these two chains, leading to shortages of everything from sauces to pickles to chicken wings. These shortages result from various problems, including weather in Texas and intense demand from consumers coupled with supply limitations.
Transportation appears to be the most significant issue. Due to an economy-wide lack of drivers, suppliers and shipping companies face immense difficulty delivering the necessary goods to their locations.
The supply chain issues tied to transportation are not a peripheral problem to the nation. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is currently looking at ways to address supply chain disruptions. Last week, Buttigieg held a virtual roundtable with the Federal Maritime Commission chair, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and other senior U.S. at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports to address congestion.
“For our economy to fully recover, we now need our vital supply chains to operate smoothly and without avoidable congestion,” Buttigieg said.