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HGV Driver Crisis Caused Pub Sh * tshow With Shortages Of Beer, Wine And Cheese, Owners Say

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The truck driver crisis has caused a “sh * tshow” for pubs in short supply, including beer, wine and cheese, the owners have warned.

The lack of truck drivers capable of carrying stock is limiting availability behind the bar and forcing owners to cut down on pub menus across the country, I has learned.

Experts and staff in the advertising industry, who also say they are paying more for merchandise due to the shortfall, believe the crisis could last until next year, making Christmas time ” very difficult”.

Abhinav Malhotra, owner of The Hansom Cab in Kensington, west London, said he still received weekly deliveries but they were “hit or miss”.

“We could order 10 barrels [of beer] and only five are delivered. We ordered Camden Hells on our last delivery, but we didn’t receive any so we don’t have any left at this time. The rosé de Provence is also out of stock, ”he declared.

According to the British Beer & Pub Association, which represents around 20,000 UK pubs, the problem is impacting “the whole” industry, with some experiencing shortages of casks.

Meanwhile, a recent survey by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), which represents around 830 breweries, found that two-thirds of its members were affected by the shortage of drivers.

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But Mr Malhotra was keen to point out that the problem was causing even more problems in the kitchen. “With alcohol it’s not as bad, if you serve six wines or beers there is usually something else, but with food it is more difficult to use alternatives,” he said. he declares.

Additional problems with the supply of imports from the EU, which Mr Malhotra believes is a consequence of border issues as well as the European-wide shortage of truck drivers, mean that the pub’s authentic Italian menu lack of parmesan and burrata.

In a nearby chain ad, the manager, who described the heavy truck situation as “crap”, also said he had cut back his offer after struggling to source items from the mainland, including champagne and camembert. “You can’t get any British alternatives to these,” he said.

Ingredients produced in the UK are also of concern to managers as Christmas approaches. “We’re taking pre-reservations and we don’t know if we’ll have the ingredients or not. If we don’t have turkeys, what are we going to replace them with? Mr. Malhotra said.

Ironically, despite the ironic inscription at the height of the fuel crisis that read “Beer shortage soon, panic buying here”, the White Hart of Northamptonshire was also concerned about food shortages.

Owner Alan Bonar-Drake said he is ordering additional turkey crowns every week in anticipation of the holiday season after hearing “there could be a shortage”.

Greater certainty for managers is that there will be at least some equity issuance during the busiest time. “I think it’s going to be fine after Christmas until summer. It takes time for these things to get back to normal, ”said Malhotra.

Wholesale prices are also increasing due to the scarcity of drivers. While the Hansom Cab could buy a haddock fillet for fish and chips for £ 1.30, the cost has more than doubled to £ 3 in recent weeks, while beer kegs have increased by 10%.

Having worked in the hospitality industry for around two decades, Mr Malhotra said he never knew he was in such dire straits. “It’s very difficult at the moment. We have been affected by Covid anyway and it just keeps getting worse with something or the other.

“We will probably have to increase the prices, but I don’t think there is enough customer confidence to do so at the moment. “

A spokesperson for the Mitchells & Butlers advertising chain said: “We are aware of the driver shortage and unfortunately we will not be immune to the effect this has on supply. However, we have an excellent relationship with our suppliers and continue to work closely with them to ensure that we can continue to serve quality food and drink to our customers.

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