Las vegas restaurants

How restaurants in Las Vegas and other industries overcome supply chain obstacles

Steve marcus

Semi-trailers are heading south on Interstate 15 near Blue Diamond Road on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. Truck drivers in Las Vegas and nationwide are under pressure as demand for goods exceeds offer.

Peppermill Las Vegas is one of the most popular nightlife hangouts in the resort hallway.

But if you show up craving an order for onion rings from the restaurant, you’re probably out of luck. And during certain morning hours, you won’t be able to place an order at all.

Executive Chef Nicholas Orth composes his menu without knowing what supplies will be available to him due to the current challenges of the global supply chain. Basic stocks – like glass mugs, tablespoons, embroidered napkins, or paper cups – as well as food items like onion rings take months longer to arrive than what workers at. industry would normally expect. Even when products are delivered, the brand or appearance of a “sub-item” may be different from what was ordered, often resulting in higher prices for businesses.

The global supply chain is a route that connects manufacturing to transportation and logistics, or the movement of goods to customers.

Delays and shortages throughout the supply chain caused by the pandemic are affecting nearly every item produced or manufactured, including those needed by local restaurants like Peppermill.

Orth said their menu is constantly being reinvented, including having only onion rings available as a burger garnish and not as an appetizer or side dish. The shortage also means the restaurant can’t offer its traditional Thanksgiving dinner, he said, because the items are either too expensive or unavailable.

On top of that, staffing issues have forced the restaurant to cut back on its 24-hour catering services from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Thursday through Sunday and from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. radical change, according to Orth, resulted in a sum of about $ 80,000 to $ 90,000. lost sales per week.

Kitchen and waiting staff have declined since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 – not a new problem but certainly an urgent one, Orth said.

“If we can fix (the workforce issues), I think a lot of our issues will slowly go away,” Orth said. “But without people to work, no one can do anything.”

Sometimes the response to a customer’s request for an unavailable item, like a cup for a take-out coffee, simply has to be no, said Jason Lapin, president and chief operating officer of Blau Associates, which owns several. restaurants in Las Vegas. including Honey Salt and Buddy V’s Ristorante.

“We are disjointed and enterprising,” said Lapin. “We make it real. But, yes, there are definitely times when you just don’t have the supply you need to accomplish something.

Lapin is also a consultant for major brands and hotels, where ordering times for new equipment are stretched to account for the now familiar shipping and delivery delays. Resort businesses on the Strip probably face challenges as well, but either declined or did not respond to a request to participate in this story.

Buyers may have noticed more empty shelves in grocery stores and other retailers or blocked delivery dates. Meanwhile, restaurants and other local businesses are waiting for the necessary supplies to operate as close to normal as possible. This reality is the result of congested ports like Los Angeles or Long Beach, Calif., Where dockworkers work tirelessly to ease the bottleneck of freighters lined up offshore and where trucking companies and distribution centers are understaffed to move these goods forward.

The main problem is that consumer demand has overtaken the recovery on the production side of the economy, said Mark Vinter, senior economist at Wells Fargo. And as consumer spending rises as the holiday season approaches, the additional shortage of workers and items is a worrying combination.

“Most of our policymakers in Washington think that if you stimulate demand, supply will follow, and in most of the policies that we have implemented, they have done a very good job of stimulating demand,” said Vinter. “They put money in people’s pockets, but we made it pretty hard for people to get back to work right away, which made it a little bit worse.”

On the supply side, labor scarcity has also hurt the Las Vegas Desert Eagle Transportation trucking company, whose drivers work 14 hours a day and are limited to 70 hours a week.

Three of those 14 hours are allocated for loading and unloading in warehouses, said Svetoslav Vitkov, truck driver at Desert Eagle.

But with fewer employees making deliveries on and off the truck, Vitkov said he waited five to six hours rather than three to complete his warehouse work. Fewer truckers to handle this increased demand only exacerbates the problems.

“Since there are not enough people working, we are busier,” said Vitkov. “We have so many loads and we can’t do the same. “

Direct solutions, whether on the consumer or retail side, are unclear and will likely persist after the holidays, experts say.

California’s two ports operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to the White House, which presented a plan on Oct. 13 to ease the bottleneck or strain and allay consumer concerns over Christmas.

Logistics company Stord will open a 177,000-square-foot warehouse in Las Vegas on Monday, which could relieve cargo shipped within Los Angeles and Long Beach ports due to the city’s proximity to California, said Sean, CEO of Stord. Henri. This is Stord’s second warehouse in Nevada – the other is in Reno – and it will employ more than 100 people, he said.

“There’s not a lot of space in Los Angeles anymore and it’s not economically efficient to store and move your inventory in that market,” Henry said. “Las Vegas is an incredible alternative for those who see more and more shippers coming to the Las Vegas market due to its proximity to the Pacific Corridor. “

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Oct. 17 that complications could extend until 2022 and that passing an infrastructure plan in Congress would best alleviate those problems.

“There is $ 17 billion in the president’s infrastructure plan for ports alone, and we have to deal with these long-term issues that have made us vulnerable to these kinds of bottlenecks when there are fluctuations in demand, shocks and disruptions like those caused by the pandemic, ”he told CNN’s“ State of the Union ”.

Vinter, however, said he didn’t think the federal government could make any noticeable improvements to congestion.

“Much of the rhetoric we hear from the federal government is usually designed to make it look like it’s doing something,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is a global problem. And the world economy came to a halt, and it reopened in a very phased fashion. … We are so interdependent on each other for parts and materials that it is just very difficult to get the economy going again and everything is going perfectly well.


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