Restaurants across Kansas are finding their pantries empty after food distributor Sysco halted deliveries.
The food giant said labor shortages in the industry. Business across the country have complained about the shortage they, and economic experts say is caused by over-generous unemployment.
Hundreds of small restaurants could be affected. JD’s Kwik Burger, in McPherson is one of those scrambling to find alternative supplies of ingredients.
Chaz Clark, who owns the popular local restaurant, is angry after just learning Sunday that she would not be getting her delivery for this week.
“My first reaction was to cry, just because it’s really overwhelming,” said Clark.
She said her phone has been ringing constantly, she’s losing business and there’s nothing she can do about it.
“Until I can find another vendor that can give me what my customers expect of me, until all of that works, I just have to roll with the punches right now,” she said.
A Wichita TV station reached out to Sysco for more details on the issue. The company, whose regional operations are based out of Kansas City, sent the following statement.
“Sysco regrets that we have had to delay or pause service for a limited number of customers in various locations. This is mainly due to unprecedented labor shortages in the industry. We are aggressively recruiting delivery partners and warehouse associates, and our goal is to restore service to our impacted customers as soon as possible.”
For now, Clark said she will do what she can to find solutions.
“I hope that’s the silver lining in all of this,” she said. “That I find the person who is good for me and good for JD’s.”
Other restaurants in the Wichita area say they too are impacted by Sysco’s halted deliveries.
Sysco would not say how many businesses are impacted or how long it will take to restore service.