COVID Complications: Omicron’s Impact on Restaurant Food Supply Chains
As the 2021 Holiday Season approached, restaurants around the country began preparing for the usual onslaught of reservations, parties, and events. With restaurants getting ready ahead of the busy season, meat suppliers also begin to stock up with a range of products to meet their customer’s needs. However, when the Omicron variant began to spread in late 2021, restaurants and food suppliers were immediately thrown into chaos. In this article, we discuss the Omicron’s impact on restaurant food supply chains and share our company’s experience.
Impact Of Omicron
As the impacts of the Omicron variant started to be felt throughout the States, more and more people started to cancel their restaurant bookings for the upcoming Holiday Season. Amidst growing uncertainty, many restaurants reduced capacity, changed to a take-away-only service, or even closed their doors in an attempt to stay afloat.
The effect on the restaurant industry was immediate, however, those behind the scenes in the restaurant food supply industry were now also feeling the impacts. With fewer customers, restaurants and other venues canceled their orders for wholesale meat and other products, which most wholesalers had already purchased in anticipation of the needs of restaurants and other hospitality establishments at this time of the year.
Here at Northwest Meats, we sell a range of premium wholesale meat products to a variety of restaurants, hotels, cafes, steakhouses, and other venues across Chicago. We are committed to providing the very best products possible to our customers and we work hard to ensure that we are always there to meet the needs of each and every client we serve. We understand that our clients require a steady, dependable supply of top-quality meat products so they can give their clients exactly what they want. To ensure we meet this goal, we prepare our products in advance so we always have enough product to meet our client’s orders, especially at busier times of the year.
Stock Piling Up up
In preparation for the Holiday Season, here at Northwest Meats, we purchased between $25,000 and $30,000 worth of meat to ensure we had the capacity to meet the demands of our clients. Andrew Neva, the owner of Northwest Meats, recently discussed the issue with the FOX Business Network. In an interview with the network he explained, “Prior to omicron, I purchased all this product because as we know, everyone wanted to get out. So, I bought all this product in October, had to pay for it in November. Then when omicron came… all my high-end steakhouses canceled their reservations.”
The result is that in January shelves were full of high-end cuts of meat sitting on the shelves at the Northwest Meat facility waiting for demand to change. With the rise in COVID infections, an increasing number of people are choosing to stay home rather than putting themselves at risk by venturing out.
Looking Forward With Optimism
Despite the negative impacts of the COVID pandemic, Neva remains optimistic. He told Business Insider “none of the meat would go to waste and would be sold over the next month by Valentine’s Day.” He also explained to Fox Business that the recent snowstorms may also have had an impact, stating “Plus the weather — we had a major snowstorm. If you get a massive snowstorm, then forget about it.”
While the future remains somewhat uncertain, Andrew discussed that he is remaining positive and will continue to be there for his customers moving forward, saying “My clients are planning [on] special venues. But, what people do will remain to be seen. I’m going to plan for it, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be what it’s going to be, and I’m just going to ride with it.”
With this positive approach, you can be sure that Northwest Meats will continue to work hard to overcome the challenges of Omicron and be there for its clients both now and in the future.