The Ripple Effect

  | Customer Service

You have probably heard that staff shortages are the new normal. We at the Co-op have suffered this for quite a while, especially in the last few months. Some new hires have left, often relatively suddenly, due to either personal situations that have changed, or yet another lucrative job offer. Still, we soldier on, though we are now facing the reality of potentially not offering all of the services in our deli department to which you may be accustomed.

We appreciate your forbearance as we work through this situation, which I suspect will be with us for a while. We are trying to make some systemic changes in our foodservice programs to plan for less staff in the coming months. But now, we have another related situation which you will also no doubt notice. Staff shortages are, as I said, the new normal. This is true for all of our suppliers as well. One week in June, we did not get orders from one of our foodservice providers that we normally get two from, and another delayed their delivery by two days. These supply issues have quite a ripple effect, through our kitchen and down to our counter. In our meat department too, they are unable to get meats from several of our suppliers who have similar struggles in their packing plants. When we find supply, the costs have increased significantly, not surprisingly, and you will see this effect as well.

Our country has not experienced inflation in food prices in some time, so this will be difficult for us to weather as consumers. But given the widespread nature of the causes of this supply situation, we will need to adjust some of our expectations. Please be kind to those who are working extra hard to bring your food to you. Be forgiving at restaurants as well when your food is taking inordinately long to prepare, as there are probably fewer people in the kitchen than normal. Thank you for your understanding.