Nando's shuts restaurants as it runs short of supplies

The Nando's chicken logo seen in central LondonImage source, Getty Images

Nando's says it will lend some of its staff to its suppliers to help "get things moving" in the supply chain after shortages hit some of its shops.

The restaurant group has had to shut around 50 outlets temporarily after apparently running short of its staple fare: peri peri chicken.

Customers were quick to react online, complaining about local closures.

"The UK supply chain is having a bit of a [night]'mare right now," Nando's tweeted in reply.

"This is having a knock-on effect with some of our restaurants across England, Scotland and Wales."

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The chain said delivery schedules meant the situation was changing rapidly and suggested customers check the website before they visit.

Food and other supply chains across the UK have struggled to operate normally this summer, due to what has been dubbed the "pingdemic" - staff being required to self-isolate if they have come into contact with someone with coronavirus.

Staff shortages have also have been blamed on EU workers leaving the UK following Brexit as well as during the pandemic and the furlough scheme keeping some workers out of the jobs market.

Dairy giant Arla had to cut back on milk deliveries to supermarkets due to lorry driver shortages last month, leaving some supermarket shelves short of stock.

Last week rival fast food chicken store KFC said some items were missing from its menus due to "disruption".

The problem has also affected carmakers, transport operators, restaurants and pubs. Road haulage firms have been a particular pinch point because the industry was already short of qualified drivers.

From this week, fully vaccinated staff no longer have to self-isolate, a rule-change the government hopes will ease the pressure on businesses running short of staff.

At the same time Nando's says it is exploring an alternative solution by offering its staff to help suppliers, although it didn't say whether any had accepted the offer, or what work they would be doing.

The South African chain, famous for its peri peri sauce, operates more than 400 restaurants across the UK.

Nando's said the shortages were not affecting any of their outlets in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Note September 6 2021: This story was updated to include a broader context around staff shortages after Brexit and the pandemic.

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