The year 2021 seems to have brought McDonald’s its own portion of bad luck. The fast food giant has reportedly stopped selling milkshakes and bottled drinks in nearly 1,300 restaurants across the UK.
It is believed that staff shortages, lack of truck drivers and supply chain delays are the reasons for this decision. While McDonald’s is not giving a reason, the staff shortage may be related to Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. Both factors have impacted the supply chains of several companies. Brexit has also imposed new barriers to trade with the European Union (EU), affecting the smooth functioning of supply chains.
According to a NewsMadura Business report, a McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Like most retailers, we are currently dealing with supply chain issues, affecting the availability of a small number of products. Bottled drinks and milkshakes are temporarily unavailable in UK restaurants, Scotland and Wales.”
The spokesperson added: “We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank our customers for their patience. We are working hard to get these items back on the menu as soon as possible.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has put even more pressure on these companies, which are struggling to find employees. The UK’s pandemic rules have made quarantine mandatory for any person who comes into contact with an infected person. The new rules, which came into effect last week, have lifted the coercion for fully vaccinated individuals.
But the shortage of truck drivers continues to affect supply chains. The shortfall is attributed to thousands of EU nationals who left the UK after Brexit took effect. According to a BBC report, a Road Haulage Association (RHA) survey conducted last month suggests the UK is facing a shortage of truck drivers of more than a lakh.
Other affected companies
According to the BBC report, Nando’s, a South African multinational food chain, had to close many of its UK outlets last week due to a shortage of Peri Peri Chicken – a signature dish at the restaurant.
KFC has also said it has been unable to keep some of the items on the menu in stock due to supply chain issues.
Arla, a dairy giant, has said its milk deliveries to supermarkets have been hit by a driver shortage.
Haribo, a German confectionery giant, is also struggling with a shortage of drivers and finding it difficult to deliver its sweets to shops across the UK.