Hospitality operators can avoid nasty surprises this Christmas, in the form of unexpected food and drink shortages, through better buying discipline and close communication with suppliers, says buying expert Lynx Purchasing.
The advice comes as Lynx publishes an Autumn/Winter Market Update to support its customers as they plan for the peak trading season in the run-up to Christmas and through to the New Year.
“The challenge in the supply chain currently as that as soon as one gap is plugged, another one opens somewhere else,” says Lynx Purchasing managing director Rachel Dobson. “For example, there were fears of a turkey shortage as British producers deal with labour shortages and the problems with CO² supply, but it now looks like suppliers will be able to meet demand through imports.
“However, there are similar issues facing producers of beef, pork, salmon and other staples of festive menus, and it’s not always clear exactly where and when shortages will become an issue.
“What is apparent is that inflation is already having an impact. Figures from the Office of National Statistics showed restaurant prices paid by customers were up 5.9% year-on-year in September, as operators passed on their higher buying costs.
“Every food and drink product operators buy, as well as essentials such as equipment, disposables, cleaning & hygiene, workwear and packaging, is affected by higher costs to some extent.
“While there’s no way to avoid the impact of rising prices entirely, as always there are ways to make the best of a challenging market.” Advice to operators from Lynx Purchasing includes:
Dobson adds: “Sadly, this is not going to be the best Christmas for operators who like to use particular cuts in dishes or highlight provenance on their menus. The best advice currently is to keep descriptions flexible, whether it’s the dish of the day or the house wine, and work with suppliers to get the best, in terms of quality and value, from what’s available.
“Forecasting is always a challenge, and especially when many customers are cautious about committing to spending, but the sooner operators can confirm orders, the easier it will be for suppliers to meet demand.”
Notes to editors:
Lynx Purchasing works with more than 2,200 accounts in the hospitality and catering sector, on a no-membership and no-contract basis that offers like-for-like products at lower prices and often better quality than operators could obtain by negotiating alone.
As purchasing professionals, Lynx works with leading suppliers in the hospitality and catering industry. These include specialist fresh food suppliers, wines & spirits, catering equipment providers, utilities, and specialist service providers such as telecom, business rates consultancy and waste management.
Issued on behalf of: Lynx Purchasing
By: ShielPorter Communications
Further information: John Porter: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07734 054389
Ros Shiel: email@example.com / 07841 694137