Disruptions to catering services expected

October 12th, 2021

Supply chain issues and a shortage of HGV drivers are impacting the university’s deliveries of food and drink. We are also affected by a severe labour shortage in the hospitality industry.

While neither of these issues are unique to the university, they do disrupt the level of service we can provide across our catering outlets.

You might see less stock on shelves in our catering outlets. The items our suppliers struggle to provide us with may differ from week to week, but on average our deliveries are only 50-60% complete. Missing items are predominately retail items – for example – pre-packaged sandwiches – as their suppliers are struggling to provide the raw ingredients, including bread and packaging materials.

To mitigate this we have increased our supplier base, and retained our trusted suppliers rather than re-tendering at this time. We have also built up some of our stores of ambient goods and stocked our freezers – especially when alerted to a potential supply issue.

We have also invested in an e-procurement system which alerts us of potential shortage of items at the point of ordering.

The creativity of our catering staff within halls means that menus can be altered even at short notice, therefore this is not affecting the residential experience. But you might notice a difference in some of our shops and cafes.

The national labour shortage is affecting our ability to extend opening times at some catering outlets – or in some cases open at weekends. In order to mitigate this we have been holding recruitment fairs and offering more flexible shift patterns to fit around student timetables and commitments.

With regard to delivered catering we would request that you submit your orders as soon as possible in advance and be aware that there may be some substitution on menus.

Our teams are doing their best to ensure we can offer the best service possible to you , but please bear with us as we navigate these challenges.

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