Not even Chick-fil-A is immune to the condiment shortage.
The Atlanta-based chicken chain told customers on its website last week that “due to industrywide supply chain shortages, some items, like sauces, may be unavailable.”
The company confirmed that customers in many of its restaurants are being limited to one dipping sauce cup per entrée ordered as long as supplies remain restricted. “We are actively working to make adjustments to solve this issue quickly and apologize to our guests for any inconvenience,” the company said in a statement.
Chick-fil-A is not alone. The rapid increase in customer demand for restaurants generally this year, and especially since March, coupled with labor challenges, has led to supply chain challenges of all sorts, including ketchup packets and pickle buckets.
It has also included chicken wings and chicken breast, though the company said that it has not had issues sourcing enough chicken.
Investors have increasingly asked restaurant chain executives in recent days about supply chain headaches. The CEOs of both Wendy’s and KFC parent company Yum Brands this week expressed confidence in their supply chain cooperatives and their ability to source enough product.
John Peyton, CEO of Applebee’s and IHOP owner Dine Brands Global, told investors last week that the supply chain issue is expected to be temporary.
“We’re working to secure the continuity of our supply chain,” Peyton said, according to a transcript on the financial services site Sentieo. “During the past few months, the surge in guests going out to eat has created demand that has outpaced supply. This is actually not a terrible problem to have, as we see it as just a moment in time.”
Executives have argued that supply chain challenges have been exacerbated by labor issues, as many companies struggle to find enough workers to produce enough supply or drivers to get goods to their destination.