As KFC wrestles with chicken shortages that saw it temporarily close some of its outlets, top fast-food chains Famous Brands and Nando’s say they are also battling supply chain crunches courtesy of unrelenting load shedding. Famous Brands, which owns Wimpy and Steers, confirmed on Thursday it had “experienced procurement shortages caused by sustained load shedding” but that the “disruption is being actively managed”.
“This includes short deliveries of chicken from chicken producers,” said the group, which also owns Mugg & Bean and Debonairs, among other brands. It said none of its outlets had been closed because of the issues. Geoff Whyte, CEO of Africa, Middle East and Asia for Nando’s, said in an interview that load shedding was affecting chicken production along with deliveries to restaurants.
“From our perspective it has put us under enormous pressure, but we have managed to keep all of our restaurants (300 in South Africa) fully supplied and open.”
Power outages are particularly problematic when the stages of load shedding intensify to levels four, five and six, Whyte said.
He said from a production point of view producers’ processing plants require “massive amounts of power” which makes it impractical for them to have backup generation to keep facilities running during load shedding. “The problem is these are huge production facilities and they require so much power that it is not really practical to put down enough generation to allow them to run when the power goes down.
They have been working around load shedding. As long as load shedding is two hours during a normal working day, then they can cope. But if you are having eight hours a day of load shedding every day, then it (the production process) all starts falling over.” — News 24.