Summer menus snarled by global supply chain

Head out to your local Starbucks for your favorite drink or treat - and you might be met with a sign like this on the door:

"We are currently experiencing temporary outages of some our food and beverage items. We are happy to help you find an alternative until your favorite item is back. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Or maybe it's dinner time and you have Chipotle on your mind....

You whip out the app and get ready to order your favorite meal on your phone, and BAM...

the app informs you of all the items that are NOT available at your local spot.

It's a scenario that is repeating itself all over the world as restaurants large and small grapple with a supply chain disruption.

With the world's economies seemingly opening up all at once - demand is outstripping food and food-related items, leading to a shortage of items ranging from the mundane, like paper bags to a fan favorite: chicken wings.

Reuters has surveyed at least nine fast-food chains and restaurant companies and has learned of a changing list of hard-to-find items:

In New York: A Subway location was missing a shipment of roast beef, rotisserie chicken, ketchup and spicy mustard...

A Wendy's franchise in the southern United States said it only got half of the lettuce it ordered...

Some locations of Yum Brands said they keep running out of paper bags.

In South Korea - it's french fries.

Global demand has bounced back so quickly that food producers can't keep up...neither can the shipping companies and that's leading to further hiccups.

One local restaurant owner told Reuters the upheaval has impacted "every single product we sell."

And the problem is likely to get even worse. Supply bottlenecks could continue "well into 2022," St. Louis Fed President James Bullard warned last week.

The shortages are just one more headache for the restaurant and food service industry, which is already grappling with labor pains. Employees are quitting and newer employees are hard to find.

And that's a big problem, as a smaller workforce faces irate customers, who don't understand why there are no packets of ketchup to go along with an order of fries.

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