Shortage of truck drivers impacting Nottingham pubs and restaurants


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Truck driver shortages are impacting Nottingham’s hotel business as many pubs and restaurant kitchens wait for supplies.

Fish and chips is not on the menu at the Shepherds Pub in Radcliffe on Trent, while other restaurant chefs say many items that would normally be easy to obtain are temporarily unavailable.

Customers also reported seeing several items off the menus due to the shortage.

Andy Crawford, director of operations for the Pub People Company, which operates pubs including The Lion in Basford and Six Barrel Drafthouse in Nottingham, said: “The problem of the lack of truck drivers is having a significant impact on the supply chain. the food and beverage industry. .

“The small, local wholesalers that we use find it very difficult to recruit drivers and the suppliers are overloaded, so products arrive late or not at all in the depot.

“Other wholesalers insist that outlets take larger orders so that vans can run more efficiently. It’s inconvenient for many pubs. We’ve never had so many items out of stock. “

Rob Darby, co-founder of 200 Degrees Cafes in Nottingham and across the UK, said there had been supply issues since the venues reopened in May.

He said, “It’s been a thing that has been going on for a few months. Instead of three or four drops per week, providers have insisted on doing two drops per week.

“We had the strange product that we struggled with and had to replace or do without for a short time. We had a particular bread that was out of stock for a while.

“Food service providers – this got pretty high profile in May when everyone was getting back on the road, members of the management team driving vans because they just couldn’t have enough drivers. The supply chain.

“I think it’s going to take a little while to work out. We’ll get there in the end.”

Cod’s Scallops owner John Molnar said while it’s not a problem for cod and fries, there has been a delay with some of the shellfish reaching crisps at Carrington, Wollaton and Long Eaton.

“Our lobster guy in Norfolk couldn’t get transport and our lovely frozen butterfly shrimp couldn’t get through customs for three weeks.

“If we get 80% of our order, we’re happy. I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

Mark Osborne, executive chef of three Notts pubs, said: “We haven’t really had a problem. I’ve been with our suppliers for 20 years. The beauty of our menus is that we can change them every day, so that was not that bad.

“There have always been some weird products that I can’t get and I find it easier to take them out of Amazon which is crazy like French cherries. Suddenly the supplier did couldn’t get them, so we took them out of Amazon – or equipment, very simple things like ladles and whips – the things you’d expect to find in stock that just aren’t. You can go to Amazon and get them the next day.

“You could pay a little more for it, but if you need a product then you need a product,” said Mr. Osborne, who designs menus for The Railway in Lowdham, The Radcliffe in Radcliffe -on-Trent and The Plow in Normanton-on-the-Wolds.

Rachel Hyman, of Nottingham’s family-owned wholesalers, The Fruit Basket, said their supplies to local restaurants were unaffected.

She added: “Sometimes deliveries come in later than 6-7am which means our deliveries leave later but we have a full supply of everything – great British autumn produce at the moment. .

“We had no problem with the actual supply of the products. I have spoken to many chefs and know they have issues with seafood and meat, but in terms of veg and fruit touch the wood we are in a good position. .

“Over the years we have built very strong relationships with the people we buy from. We work with local farms and we go there in our vans and pick up fruit at Starkey’s in Southwell and go to the farm in Redhill and let’s get our carrots, parsnips and cabbage from there.

“We also deliver local potatoes. We work with a lot of local suppliers, so that’s no problem.

A spokesperson for The Shepherds said: “We are aware of the driver shortage and unfortunately we will not be immune to the effect this has on supply. However, we have a great relationship with our suppliers and continue to work closely with them to ensure that we can continue to serve quality food and drink to our customers.

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