We have plenty of food to feed everyone. This fact has remained true for well over a decade. Oxfam reports that we create about 20% more calories than what every human requires for survival.
What prevents us from making sure that no one goes hungry? Our supply chains are nowhere near where they must be to distribute food.
When COVID lockdowns happened in spring 2020, the entire restaurant industry food chain all but disappeared. With most suppliers not having access to grocery counters, shortages began appearing across the United States.
With a winter surge of the coronavirus expected, can we predict a similar outcome?
What Are the Challenges of Winter Food Distribution?
The federal government has offered loan programs and economic recovery stimulus to bolster the economy. These measures helped many small businesses survive the lockdown months.
As we’ve learned more about how the coronavirus spreads, we see the importance of outdoor dining and social distancing. With the weather turning colder this winter, restaurants may have fewer serving opportunities. That means less revenue – and lower food availability.
Should restaurants try to hold on through a winter where influenza, COVID-19, and more potential lockdown threats could shut them down? Is now the time to start cutting losses?
Most food servers (except grocers) have been losing money all summer. Many choose to throw in the towel because if it was that bad during the warm months, how much worse could it get with cold weather?
The First Businesses to Fail Were Already Struggling
Food supplies became low because restaurant suppliers weren’t providing products to grocery stores. That avenue has a lower profit margin, which makes it uninviting for a conversion.
When lockdowns happened in April, food producers and distributors expected a return to normalcy by the fall. Now that we’re here, it is clear to see that we’re nowhere near that outcome.
The first businesses to close were the ones already struggling. Those who wanted to retire or would have gone bankrupt in a couple of years went next. Now, the ones dependent on tourism are closing.
It is the established brands that survive. Companies like Douglas Laboratories, Host Defense, and Jarrow Formulas follow the same recipe of successful restaurants. When your brand stays at the top of the mind, people will want your products.
People will stay home if another COVID surge happens. That means even more pressure on restaurants and distributors to meet food needs. If everyone goes back to the grocery store, we may find even more challenges waiting for us in the months ahead.