‘It’s brutal’: How supply chain woes are impacting restaurants

The Donlon Report

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The Federal Reserve reports that the economy faced a number of headwinds at the start of this month, ranging from supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages to uncertainty about the delta variant of COVID-19.

Restaurants have been particularly hard hit by supply chain disruptions. Taco Borga, co-owner and chef of La Duni in Dallas, Texas, said it’s been a struggle.

“We got a box of to-go bags, you know those paper bags that have a handle? And the bags and the handles were separated with a little bit of glue and a note that said ‘we’re terribly sorry, we were short-staffed, do you mind gluing your own handles?’ and that’s just to give you a little example of this situation,” Borga said.

He said bags are not his only supply problem. It’s just about everything.

“We don’t have liquor because the liquor producers don’t have bottles to bottle the liquor,” he said. “We don’t have chicken because there’s no chicken being transported from the slaughterhouse to the processing plant. Basically, we get what we get.”

His restaurant recently started using robot servers to make up staff shortages but emphasized they’re not replacing people.

“The robots are fantastic because they’re not replacing the people, obviously, because you can’t replace people,” he said. “But they are replacing the tasks that make people less efficient.”

Borga, who lost 350 employees, was hoping to do away with the robots but believes the pandemic may have changed some things permanently.

“All of the [former restaurant workers] that I’ve talked to, they have found a whole new career, a whole new path, and a whole new way of living. So they’re not coming back to the restaurant,” he said.

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