Nando’s shuts 45 restaurants due to chicken shortage

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports on the supply chain issues impacting the entire industry

Nando's has confirmed it has shut 45 restaurants due to a shortage of chicken caused by a lack of staff in the supply chain.

The shortages at Nando’s come weeks after fast food chain KFC warned it had to slim down its menu options due to supply issues.

Supermarket shelves have also been affected in recent weeks.

Chicken suppliers have warned the disruption is "not going away" as the industry deals with staffing issues and a shortage of lorry drivers.

Signs in Nando's restaurant windows said there was a shortage of chicken stock from suppliers. The restaurant chain also told customers it was affected by "isolation periods" among staff.

Nando’s was forced to close some restaurants amid a shortage of chickens due to a lack of drivers and meat factory workers Credit: PA

Nando’s said it seconded around 70 staff to suppliers to help with supply issues and expects its restaurants to reopen on Saturday as a result.

A Nando’s spokesperson said: “The UK food industry has been experiencing disruption across its supply chain in recent weeks due to staff shortages and a number of our restaurants have been impacted.

“However, since Monday, a team of our brilliant Nandocas have been supporting our key suppliers onsite – working in partnership to help get things moving again, and this has already had a positive impact on affected restaurants.

“From this Saturday, as a result of the hard work behind the scenes, it is our intention that all of our restaurants will be open again, and all our customers can enjoy their favourite peri-peri chicken.”

However, industry sources told PA news agency this “will not touch the sides”.

The industry executive said the “complexity” of requirements for products ordered by restaurants like Nando’s and KFC means they will face more disruption from the chicken shortage than supermarkets.

A poultry industry source told PA that warnings last month that EU worker rules would continue to hit food supply.

He said: “We raised this issue with government many weeks ago and nothing significant has happened since, so it is clearly not going away.

“We need new workers to come on board to cope with this demand, and while Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have been helpful, the issue is with the Home Office.

“There are shortages fluctuating between 10% and 20% of staff, so we need some emergency changes get workers overseas who can fill this gap.”