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Nando’s closes some restaurants as supply chain hit by ‘pingdemic’

A number of Nando’s restaurants have been affected by the “pingdemic” as staff shortages led to disruption in the supply chain.

The company explained to customers who took to social media about restaurant closures in their local area that the UK supply chain is currently experiencing “a bit of a ‘mare”, which has resulted in a “knock-on effect” on some of their restaurants across England, Scotland and Wales.

It said that the disruption was caused by staff “isolation periods” and that suppliers have been “struggling to keep up with the demand”.

It comes after a shortage of HGV drivers across the UK led to shortages in some products being delivered to supermarkets and other shops last month, as businesses struggled with high numbers of staff being told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace app.

A record 600,000 people were “pinged” by the app to self-isolate on 14 July. Food supply industry bodies said the issue meant entire production lines in factories and entire driver fleets had been “taken out” and criticised the government’s response as “chaotic”.

Nando’s said it is sending some of its own staff to “support key suppliers” in hopes of easing the burden on the supply chain.

A spokesperson told The Independent: “Due to staff shortages, the UK food industry has been experiencing disruption across the supply chain and a number of our restaurants across England, Scotland and Wales have been impacted.

“From today, Nando’s will be lending some of our brilliant team members to support key suppliers and get things moving again. We hope this will have a positive impact on affected restaurants, so please bear with us as we do everything we can to get that PERI-PERI chicken back where it belongs – on your plates.”

The chain did not clarify how many restaurants are affected by the supply chain disruption, but The Independent counted at least two dozen restaurants that are closed or have limited opening hours on the website.

Restaurants in Northern Ireland and Ireland have not been affected by the disruption.

Customers are urged to check on Nando’s website if their local restaurant is open before visiting.

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