Wagamama faces staff shortages and supply chain woes in 'perfect storm'

Wagamama in the Buttermarket Ipswich. The chain is one of those taking part in the Eat Out to Help O

Wagamama's Ipswich location has unfilled job vacancies for weeks - Credit: Gregg Brown

Wagamama faces a “perfect storm” of supply chain woes and staff shortages as it searches for chefs and waiters in Suffolk and Essex. 

The Asian restaurant's Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Colchester locations have had job advertisements up for more than a month. 

Wagamama's Bury St Edmunds location unfilled vacancy for a chef has been up since early August, with the chain's chief executive Thomas Heier saying the situation has hit 30 of his sites.

He blamed Brexit and logistics firms resorting to wage hikes and steep cash bonuses to help plug lorry and delivery driver shortages.

Mr Heier said: “We’ve seen a reduction in our EU workforce in particular, but the other thing we’re seeing is increased competition from logistics and delivery firms who are struggling with an increased number of vacancies.”


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“It’s a perfect storm of higher than normal demand, with supply chain challenges in the mix and a shortage of staff on the logistics side."

And he warned it could lead to rising food prices as the supply chain crisis mounts. “I don’t think we or anyone else are out of the water yet,” he added.

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