- The CEO of Pret said the chain was struggling to make enough sandwiches due to the shortage of ingredients.
- Pano Christou said it reduced sales in downtown Manhattan, home to Wall Street, and other key markets.
- Ingredient shortages caused by the supply chain crisis plague the restaurant industry.
Sandwich chain Pret a Manger said it was struggling to get enough bread and other ingredients to make sandwiches, and that was slowing sales.
According to Bloomberg, the chain has seen transactions in stores in key markets plummet in recent weeks.
In downtown Manhattan in New York City, which includes Wall Street, Bloomberg’s Pret Index reported that trading volume fell to 50% of pre-pandemic levels this week. According to Pret CEO Pano Christou, the drop is largely due to the shortage of ingredients. In addition to bread, the company is struggling to source items such as lettuce and arugula, Christou said.
“Suppliers are having a hard time getting ingredients in because they are stranded in ports and there aren’t enough staff to move the containers,” Christou told Bloomberg. “There were days when our refrigerators were pretty exhausted in the United States because of this. “
Insider reached out to Pret for further comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
Restaurants and retailers across the United States have struggled to keep shelves stocked and menus complete throughout the supply chain crisis. A drop in demand at the height of the pandemic, followed by a faster-than-expected recovery, made it more difficult to obtain anything from taco shells to take-out paper bags.
The labor shortage only worsened the situation and some chains were forced to withdraw advertising in order to distract customers from popular items which are in short supply.
Some retailers and restaurants have started stocking or over-ordering to anticipate delays and shortages, but this is only making matters worse. Others are raising prices.
Christou told Bloomberg that price increases are on the horizon next year as the company seeks to recoup higher costs from suppliers. He also doesn’t expect a quick fix to ingredient shortages anytime soon.
For now, Pret is content with a lean menu and orders whatever bread he can through his headquarters before distributing it evenly across all of his cafes, Bloomberg reported.