Last week we saw Nando's announce the closure of around 50 restaurants due to a shortage in chicken, with blame on the lack of staff at the supplier end and more recently, the reduced number of lorry drivers added to supply chain issues.
Now, the nation's favourite fast food chain is facing supply chain issues, as milkshakes and bottled drinks become unavailable, affecting around 1,250 outlets. A spokesperson for the restaurant claimed that "a number of issues are impacting retailers in the UK at the moment, one of which is the nationwide shortage of HGV drivers."
The shortage of lorry drivers follows a myriad of post-Brexit import regulations and rules, the Covid-19 "ping-demic" related restrictions and now the risk of a HGV driver strike is adding further pressure to an already heavily strained system.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) estimated that there was an approximate shortage of 100,000 drivers in the UK, out of around 600,000 (pre-pandemic). They shared that around 30,000 HGV driving tests didn't take place in 2020 due to the pandemic, adding that we had reached a historic shortage in drivers.
A number of businesses from all sectors have been affected by the HGV driver shortage, and after many drivers threatened to take strike action, retailers have been working on incentives for their drivers, with Tesco offering drivers £1,000 joining bonuses and Morrisons beginning to implement training schemes for staff to become lorry drivers. These actions should work towards alleviating some stress to the chains, however, we're not likely to feel a huge impact just yet.
Last week, a government spokesperson announced plans where a package of measures to help tackle the HGV driver shortage, including plans to streamline the process for new drivers to gain their HGV licence and to increase the number of tests that can be conducted.
The burger chain is said to be working hard to restock missing items as soon as possible but for now, in efforts to limit the impact on deliveries and customers, they have taken some items off its menus for now.