The fast food chain said it was "experiencing some supply chain issues" © Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
The fast food chain said it was "experiencing some supply chain issues" © Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

McDonald’s runs out of drinks across all UK stores

24 August 2021

Fast food chain McDonald’s has apologised after running out of drinks at outlets nationwide. 

McDonald’s is the latest food chain to be hit by shortages, reporting it has run out of milkshakes and bottled drinks across all its 1,250 UK stores.

The company said disruptions had been caused by the shortage of HGV drivers, which has been hitting food chains across the country.

The news comes as the latest IHS Markit/CIPS Flash Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) shows growth has slowed to a six-month low due to the shortages.

McDonald’s said: “Like most retailers, we are currently experiencing some supply chain issues, impacting the availability of a small number of products. Bottled drinks and milkshakes are temporarily unavailable in restaurants across England, Scotland and Wales.

“We apologise for any inconvenience, and thank our customers for their continued patience.”

Last week Nando’s was forced to shut one tenth of its UK stores after it “had a ‘mare” in its supply chain, resulting in shortages. 

KFC also warned customers after shortages meant food items and certain pieces of packaging would not be available. 

The latest Flash PMI, covering manufacturing and services, dropped to 55.3, down on 59.2 in July and against the no-change reading of 50. Respondents cited staff shortages and supply chain issues as a prime reason for the fall.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said:  “Although the PMI indicates that the economy continues to expand at a pace slightly above the pre-pandemic average, there are clear signs of the recovery losing momentum in the third quarter after a buoyant second quarter. 

“Supplier delays have risen to a degree exceeded only once before – in the initial months of the pandemic – and the number of companies reporting that output had fallen due to staff or materials shortages has risen far above anything ever seen previously in more than 20 years of survey history.”

Duncan Brock, group director at CIPS, said manufacturers were paying more for shipping and supplier delivery times were almost at levels seen at the peak of the pandemic.

Brock said: “An abnormally large slowdown in overall activity in August offers a stark warning to the UK economy that the accelerated levels of growth we’ve seen earlier this summer are not sustainable. It was the slowest output expansion for six months, and the worst shortages of staff and materials on record are mostly to blame.”

Restaurants and supermarkets have been reporting significant impacts to supplies while the Road Haulage Association warned of a shortfall of 100,000 HGV drivers.

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