Christmas in September

It’s only September, but now is not too early to plan your Christmas menu. The impacts of Brexit and COVID-19, such as product availability and pricing, will be felt within the hospitality sector for months to come. Meat processing and driver shortages are two key challenges that operators must consider this holiday season.

Firstly, The British Meat Processors Association reports that the majority of meat companies are around six weeks behind their Christmas production schedules. So now is definitely the time to place your orders to ensure you won’t run out over the holidays.

Secondly, according to the National Pig Association (NPA), the pig industry is currently facing a labour shortfall of around 15%. The situation is causing pigs to remain at farms whilst outgrowing their accommodation and costing more money to feed. The excess total is growing by 15,000 a week, forcing farmers to “destroy” healthy pigs.

Due to the severity of the supply crisis, you can be certain there will be a shortage of Christmas menu items including pigs in blankets and gammon roasts.
You may also want to consider an alternative for the traditional turkey dinner as production is down by 20% and higher prices will be inevitable.

Poultry appears to be ongoing problem within the supply chain, and turkey isn’t the only bird you need to think about. Recently, large restaurant chains have experienced massive shortages of chicken, forcing some businesses like Nandos to close branches or remove certain items from their menus.

A shortage of workers to pick produce will also impact Christmas menus and margins, as items such as broccoli, sprouts and cabbage will incur increased costs and longer delivery times.

Planning your menu now will save you money in the long run and ensure you are able to satisfy guests with the freshest and most delicious Christmas dishes. Our team is here to assist in all your holiday purchasing – including non-food categories. We have established relationships with the leading local and national suppliers, and we have the latest insights on market conditions and pricing.

Give us a ring and we will make sure your Christmas menu doesn’t disappoint.