As the workforce shortage continues to affect the supply chain, the hospitality industry is being hit from all sides. There is no definitive solution to the issue that is impacting industries from truck drivers to longshoremen, but it is worth remembering one thing that will help in multiple areas – communication is key.  

In a recent CEO podcast, Anthony Anton encouraged hospitality business owners to find a person within their supply chain who is in the know to whom they can open regular communications. On the flipside, operators want to avoid situations where they don’t know they will be shorted supplies until the day they are supposed to arrive. That is preventable on the supply side through diligent communication made possible by a strong relationship between supplier and operator. Having a dedicated person on your team who knows what information to get from suppliers is also important. Someone should proactively contact reps and get the following information:  

  • What products are short on supply 
  • How long they will be out  
  • What replacement options they have 
  • How do the replacement options differ? Are there any new allergens? 

In addition to the responsibility suppliers and businesses need to communicate, you must also communicate effectively with your team and customers. It is important for your inside team to know about shortages and replacements, but you should also do your best to let customers know before they arrive. Use any existing channels you have such as social media and customer email blasts to let people know you are experiencing shortages – most customers appreciate transparency. 

Lastly, make sure to communicate with any third-party companies or partners that post information on your behalf. If a menu item has changed or is no longer available, you will want to ensure that it is accurately depicted on services like Door Dash to prevent an operational issue when someone orders an item that isn’t available. For the same reasons mentioned above regarding customer transparency, ensuring that your Google page, Yelp and website menus are accurate is also important.