Portland restaurants struggle to source food, produce amid pandemic shortages

By Audrey Weil

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – Restaurants are struggling to get all the food and commodities they need due to shortages linked to the pandemic.

Lisa Schroeder, the owner of Mother’s Bistro and Bar, tells us on Sunday morning that she couldn’t find lettuce or spinach at US Foods in northwest Portland, in the latest example of the impossibility of find a product, order a product or have it delivered. from many different places.

“We ordered 14 cases of squid, we can’t even get one,” Schroeder said. “We can order blue cheese, sorry, we’re out of blue cheese today, then when you postpone it, okay, I’ll get it on the next delivery, no they can’t even make the delivery.” “

In a letter to clients, the CEO of Sysco, a global distributor, wrote that demand had rebounded earlier and stronger than expected, that there were labor and supply chain shortages. supply, and order volume consistently exceeds capacity, claiming that service has fallen. and they strive to improve.

Schroeder in turn said companies limit how much she can buy and how often she can get it.

“It’s just everywhere we see shortages,” she said.

We also spoke on the phone with several other places, including cafes, saying they had the same difficulty getting paper items like lids and sleeves. One place told us that there were not enough drivers to deliver their milk.

“Fortunately, one of the things we do is try to get ahead of the game and go beyond the lead because we anticipate that stuff,” Schroeder said. “I’ll keep going until I get what I need, but there may be times when when they say something, maybe I have to say sorry we’re away.”

We also reached out to US Foods to see what they are dealing with, but had no response on Sunday night.

Regarding some possible solutions, in this email from Sysco, the CEO said he is trying to find alternative products, expand hiring, and offer sign-in bonuses and retention incentives. , and planned to create a very first driving academy to help get more drivers.

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Sandy A. Greer