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The Impact of Brexit on Restaurant Supply Chains
Team Offbeat | 23 Aug

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, we check out the potential implications it could have on the British restaurant supply Chain and ultimately small business operators.

Price Increases

Potential price increases due to a no-deal Brexit could lead to further devaluation of the pound. Additionally, product costs could rise due to increased exchange rates, stricter boarder checks and transport issues. As a small business owner, it’s important to understand the detail of every cost, from transport and storage to processing and packaging in order to remain in control of expenditure.

Stockpiling

Stockpiling could help cushion the initial blow of Brexit, though it is not a long-term solution. Spanish food supplier and restaurant, Brindisa, have stated they will be stockpiling certain produce to compensate for potential shortages. However, this means larger warehouse space has had to be hired leading to additional logistical costs.

Rationing

The big four supermarkets are currently in talks regarding rationing business buyers. Small operators struggling with their own supply chain have the potential to clear supermarket shelves. Supermarkets would need to limit the amount that small businesses could buy in order to meet the needs of retail customers.

Non-Compete Laws

The Food and Drink Foundation has told the government that it will need to waive anti-competition laws between supermarkets. This would enable more efficient coordination and control of compromised supply chains. Lord Hoskins, former chairman of Northern Foods said, “The government thinks food will flow normally in the event of a no-deal Brexit. I have my doubts.” He worries that hospitals, schools and restaurants may suffer due to supermarkets getting priority.

Moving Forward

Ultimately the key to surviving Brexit will be maintaining solid relationships with suppliers as well as exploring more locally produced options. Luckily, more and more restaurants are already sourcing fresh produce from the UK. Putting more emphasis on seasonal, local produce can only benefit both UK businesses and the environment.

By Charlotte Phillips

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