Why It’s Important to Plan Ahead for Your Commercial Foodservice Equipment Purchase

If a global pandemic and a major staffing shortage in the foodservice industry weren’t enough, restaurants and commercial foodservice operators are also dealing with major supply chain issues. This means it’s more important than ever to plan ahead, for both operational efficiency and commercial foodservice equipment purchases.

In a recent survey from the North American Association of Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers, 96 percent of respondents stated supply chain-related issues such as supply shortages, high shipping costs, tariffs, and international shipping delays as having negative impacts on business, and there are several reasons why.

There’s Not Enough Labor To Meet Demand

Like the restaurant industry itself, other industries that complement the foodservice industry are also experiencing major labor shortages. As we’re in the midst of what many are referring to as The Great Resignation, job sectors like manufacturing and shipping are also experiencing shortages. This can have an impact on how quickly foodservice equipment is built and shipped.

Inflation Means Everything Costs More

As we’ve seen over the last several months, inflation is creating rising costs in just about every aspect of our lives. This is true for raw materials used to manufacture foodservice equipment, and it’s also true for the actual food supply. The National Restaurant Association reported that 95 percent of restaurants have experienced food supply shortages on key ingredients causing 75 percent to change menus as a result. Whether it’s the foods or the equipment in which they’re prepared, rising costs are adding to the delays and the overhead required to operate.

Freight and Shipping Shortages Are Holding Things Up

Even when manufacturing is on schedule, there are major issues with freight and shipping that are creating additional points of delay. From random incidents like freighter ships getting stuck in global canals to the lack of truck drivers on American highways, getting products from point A to point B is an issue. In fact, the National Restaurant Association has proposed allowing more young people to enter the trucking industry to help alleviate the bottlenecks.

Energy Costs Are Soaring

As you may have seen at the pump gas prices are high, and they’re continuing to rise. This further impacts the trucking and shipping shortages and, at best, makes them more expensive creating further inflation. The other reasons are the prices themselves. If we’re in a cycle where energy costs are going up, it makes sense to buy sooner so those increases have a lower impact on the overall cost.

A Summary of the Current Supply Chain Shortages

As you can see, these four major elements of the supply chain shortages are very much intertwined. It’s hard to separate one from the other, as each has its own cause-and-effect impact on the overall system. For foodservice operators, it’s important to remain aware of the current supply chain trends. They will have impacts on menu development, operational efficiency, and certainly profitability.

The good news is planning ahead can help mitigate some of the impacts that supply chain shortages create. Whether you’re a restaurant looking to rebuild your commercial kitchen or a college and university planning a cafeteria expansion, making decisions of foodservice equipment earlier can reduce the potential lag time that supply chain shortages cause later.

Buying foodservice equipment has never been easier.

With more channel transparency than ever before, buying foodservice equipment has never been easier. Whether online or in-person, begin your purchasing process today.


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Topics: Restaurants, The Middleby Movement