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  • Writer's pictureMaya

Will the Takeout Surge Cause a Supply Shortage?

Restaurants have enjoyed a massive uptick in takeout orders during this past year and a half. It’s one of the few options available to consumers that don’t potentially open them to COVID-19. Delivery, curbside pickup and takeout didn’t just grow during the pandemic, but new technologies abounded to make these channels more efficient.

Since takeout wasn’t always a priority, the burst of interest has the potential to create a shortage of necessary supplies, like boxes, napkins and straws. Restaurants need solutions before it gets worse.

How the Takeout Shortage Came Along

While people were dining at home, they needed paper goods. Now as they re-enter the world, restaurants don’t need to rely on them so much. Part of the reason that restaurants are worried about their supplies is because customers started dining out more—but still use takeout bags indiscriminately. They might get their orders in boxes even if they plan to eat right outside.

Workers need to use single-use supplies more conservatively. Until production can meet the surge in demand, QSRs should be careful about serving meals on trays if customers plan to eat in-house. Though it made sense when restaurants were rushing to turn a profit, now there’s time to slow down and ask if guests need extras like straws or plastic forks.

It’s not just to-go bags and boxes that may soon be in short supply, either. All kinds of single-use items are at risk, including straws, oat milk and even ketchup packets. In some cases, demand for these items has surpassed even last year’s.

restaurant takeout

What This Means for Restaurants’ Future

The oncoming supply shortage isn’t just because of restaurants double-bagging food or customers taking too many boxes. The industry is also experiencing supply disruptions, labor shortages and all kinds of issues that make it more difficult to keep up with the ever-growing demand for takeout.

Just how bad is it? So far, there’s no need for customers to get too concerned about how they’ll get their delivery. These concerns recently expressed by some restaurants are merely a wakeup call for the industry. Businesses need to pay more attention to where their single-use items are going and how much is being used unnecessarily. Not only will that prevent waste in a potential shortage, but it’s better for the planet too. Going green matters to customers, so finding ways to be more eco-friendly not only helps the environment but can improve loyalty as well.

As they make takeout more efficient, restaurants should also consider upgrading their Point of Sale systems. With customer profiles, automatic sales reports and more, smart POS track your restaurant data down to core details. That helps you make better business decisions moving forward.


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