A Subway ran out of roast beef, a Chipotle ran out of carnitas, and a Wendy’s was low on lettuce, as fast-food chains grapple with supply shortages for key ingredients

Subway roast beef sandwich
A beef sandwich from Subway fast food outlet.

  • Wendy’s, Subway, and Chipotle are among the fast-food chains hit by supply-chain issues.
  • Reuters reported that all three chains, along with Subway, ran out of key ingredients at some locations.
  • A Chipotle ran out of barbacoa and carnitas, while a Subway ran out of roast beef, per the report.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Restaurants and retailers around the US are grappling with a supply-chain crisis for some of their key ingredients.

A recent Reuters report found that at least nine restaurants and fast-food chains, including Subway and Chipotle, were out of stock in some items at certain locations.

A Wendy’s franchisee in the south told Reuters that it had received only half of the lettuce it had ordered. A Subway location in New York was out of roast beef, rotisserie chicken, ketchup, and spicy mustard, it told Reuters.

One Chipotle store in New Jersey had no barbacoa or carnitas during a busy lunchtime slot on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, a Starbucks in upstate New York told Reuters that it had been short on various items for several months, including green iced tea and cinnamon dolce syrup. Earlier this month, Insider’s Mary Meisenzahl reported on a leaked Starbucks memo that said the coffee chain would stop ordering at least 25 items because of supply-chain issues. A spokesperson for the company told Reuters that these shortages were temporary, and varied by store.

A breakdown in the freight supply chain along with trucker shortages and the labor crisis have combined to create problems for retailers and restaurants. Some have had to raise prices as a result.

Earlier this month, burrito chain Chipotle said it was putting prices up across its menu by 4% to offset wage hikes and the rising cost of ingredients, such as avocados and corn, that were hit by shipping delays.

Red Robin and Cracker Barrel have also increased prices by about 3%, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Experts say the supply chain crisis will last well into 2022 and it likely won’t stop until we have widespread vaccination, new shipping containers, and a drop-off in demand.

If you’re a retailer or restaurant dealing with supply issues please contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (646) 768-4716 using a non-work phone, by email to mhanbury@businessinsider.com, or Twitter DM at @MarySHanbury.

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