Ashley Faria, head chef of an award-winning restaurant in Leamington Spa, says the key to managing global supply issues is stockpiling.
The restaurant called Magic Wingdom has won two sets of awards at the world’s largest wing event Wing Fest in Birmingham last year. This is despite facing many difficulties with the global supply chain.
Ashley Faria reveals the challenges they had to overcome, how they managed to do it, and the current issue the restaurant is facing as of March 23.
“We are looking at getting stock in advance of when we need it, so we are not leaving things down to the last minute to give ourselves time to be able to source, if we are not able to get them from our usual suppliers or shops that we purchase from,” says Ashley.
He shares the reason they were able to keep lower prices for customers. “With certain products that got a long life on them, if that’s a product that we’re able to store, then we’ll buy it in the bulk. This is so that we’re able to offer that at the same price for a prolonged period rather than trying to get something in small batches and not being able to have them at a certain point when it’s needed the most. That way we’re able to keep our prices steady and not have constant ups and downs.”
Ashley further talks about the challenges brought by the war in Ukraine. “Two of the main exports were oil and flour, both are products that we use very heavily in our business. Just as the war started, I looked into what their exports were and how that would have an effect across the supply chain. I managed to, before it became an issue, have a stockpile of certain ingredients. Basic necessities like flour, even in supermarkets their shelves became empty, whereas because I managed stockpile a few weeks’ worth, we were able to carry on as normal.”
Finally, he reveals the biggest issue the restaurant is facing in the current climate. “At the moment, the largest issue regarding supply is cucumbers, which is up and down as to whether you are able to get them or not. You have to go out and search for them whether that be at a supermarket, wholesaler or greengrocer.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs commented on this issue to BBC : “We remain in close contact with suppliers, who are clear that current issues relating to the availability of certain fruits and vegetables were predominately caused by poor weather in Spain and North Africa where they are produced.”