National supply shortages affecting local restaurants

Wholesale food suppliers across the country are experiencing a lack of some products, causing some local restaurants to come up with new ways to serve their customers.

Posted: Aug 17, 2021 6:56 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Local restaurants and fast food chains are now dealing with another downside of COVID-19: a nationwide supply shortage. 

Wholesale food suppliers across the country are experiencing a lack of some products, and it could be due to COVID-19 outbreaks at distribution facilities and a lack of truck drivers. It's causing some local restaurants to come up with new ways to serve their customers. 

Brian Debos, the general manager at the Gateway Grill in Springfield, told KEZI 9 News they've had to cut corners, especially with their menus. 

"Luckily I base my menu mostly on common items. It's a large menu comparatively to most places. We have a couple of other establishments and we've purposely kept their menu to like 22 items or 30, so that they don't run into that supply issue," said Debos. 

Debos also said the shortage hasn't affected his business too much yet, as he has only lost one item permanently. 

But, there are other businesses in the area who've had to get creative with a loss in other supplies. 

At Hillbilly Brews Espresso in Veneta, they've run out of things like plastic cups for their larger drinks, and they now have to punch their own holes in their iced drink cup lids. Kassidy Dorsey, a barista, said it's been disastrous at times. 

"Lately they've been out of styrofoam cups for the 32 ounces, we have to hole punch our cold cup flat lids in order to get straws in them because they're out of the ones with holes in them, and we're out of strawberry syrup, and it's just been a disaster," said Dorsey. 

Despite these setbacks, both the Gateway Grill and Hillbilly Brews Espresso say they're working as hard as they can. 

"Some customers get really frustrated and then we lose money, and then they're aggressive towards us and we just try the best we can do," said Dorsey. 

They say they want to keep their customers happy, even with these shortages.

"Bear with us I guess, you know, as far as the customer aspect. If you come in and we're out of something, it happens sometimes," said Debos. 

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