The Controversial Reason Restaurants Could Face A Food Shortage

Since the pandemic hit more than two years ago, supply chains and staffing issues have led to plenty of problems in the food service industry. Restaurants have struggled to find employees, with 750,000 fewer people in the industry than in May 2020, per CNBC. And that's not the only problem that's forced chains and mom-and-pop restaurants alike to re-evaluate their businesses.

Supply chain issues, as well as inflation, have also led to problems within the industry. Not all products are so easily shipped, and those that are have climbed tremendously in price since 2020, leading to smaller portion sizes or menu price increases, according to NBC News.

Now, though, a new issue is threatening to impact restaurants in a way that could once more lead to food shortage issues: Employees at Sysco, a major food supplier to various food service places like restaurants and cafeterias, have gone on strike in multiple cities around the United States, per

The Sysco strike could lead to scarcity

Sysco is a food service company that supplies food to places like restaurants, hospital cafeterias, and college dining halls. Now, though, those places some people rely on to eat might have trouble receiving food items. On September 27, the Teamsters Facebook account announced that 200 Sysco employees had walked off the job at the Syracuse location in an effort "to protest unfair labor practices." The strike has gained steam, with Sysco's Boston employees walking off the job shortly after, as well as some in Phoenix, Arizona.

As a result of workers striking, Sysco's ability to supply food to its service industry clients might be in jeopardy. According to the Boston Herald, more than 300 truck drivers have gone on strike, leading to immediate concern about shipment issues. Without those working to secure and ship food to these establishments, restaurants that use Sysco as a supplier might have trouble getting proper ingredients shipped to their locations.

It's unclear how large of an impact the strike will have. Ultimately, that might depend on how long it lasts. Mark May, principal executive officer of Local 317, the Syracuse union, told that the two sides plan to meet during the first week of October to talk things out.