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Nando’s is running out of chicken everybody start freaking out

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Nando's chicken mascot sitting in stands at sporting event

Photo: Simon Galloway/PA Images (Getty Images)

Nando’s has been forced to close dozens of its UK locations because it has run out of chicken, and if you’ve never eaten at a Nando’s before, there is no way you could possibly understand how devastating this news is for our friends across the pond.

In most of my personal experiences chain restaurants with cult followings rarely live up to the hype that surrounds them, especially when that hype is being shouted across the ocean from the land of Smack Barm Pey Wet. But then, on a cool, crisp autumn day five years ago, I took my first bite of Nando’s peri-peri chicken and saw God sitting across the table from me. Nando’s is that good.

CNN Business reports that Nando’s has, as of this week, shuttered 45 of its locations across England, Scotland, and Wales; a spokesperson for the company says it has sent some of its employees to suppliers in order to get help get chicken shipments rolling, as the entire British supply chain is currently in a state of disruption.

““The UK supply chain is having a bit of a ‘mare right now. This is having a knock-on effect with some of our restaurants across England, Scotland and Wales,” Nando’s tweeted when a customer asked what the issue was.

So what’s causing this ’mare? Oh, lots of terrible things, of course. For one, there’s that whole coronavirus thing, which—just like in the US—has caused a labor shortage. In the UK, this is on top of the other labor shortage that was caused by Brexit, which disproportionately affected many of the low-paying industries that make up the food and hospitality supply chains.

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Take, for example, the truck lorry drivers that make the supply chain possible in the first place: Britain’s Road Haulage Association says the country lost 20,000 truckers who were EU nationals that left the UK after Brexit. Back in June, CNN Business reported that some farmers had twice the number of job vacancies than in previous years; in August the British Poultry Council reported that the country’s weekly chicken production has been slashed by up to 10% due to a lack of workers in poultry processing plants. Maybe if things don’t start improving, Nando’s might want to think about switching to pork?

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