CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Sandi’s Diner is just one of many restaurants across the Coastal Bend that can’t get the supplies they need, forcing owners to adapt to this shortage in order to stay open for business.
In Sandi’s Diner alone. they have struggled to find chicken, drinking straws and glass bottles of Coca-Cola.
“I didn’t know until recently going from H-E-B to H-E-B… that I couldn’t find straws, so every day it seems like it’s something else that I don’t even realize is a shortage of, until I cannot find it,” says Sandra Clark, owner and manager of Sandi’s Diner on Ayers Street.
Experts say shortages are partially due to a lack of workers that help get the supplies to the businesses, like meat packers and truck drivers.
“The transportation industry right now has a huge driving demand, so they are seeking new drivers to fill empty seats," said John Rojas, trucking program director at Del Mar College. "I mean literally there’s trucks sitting still in parking lots across the country just because they don’t have enough drivers."
The need for supplies has also increased with businesses bouncing back to normal, experts say. That trend combined with the worker shortage has thrown supply and demand out of balance.
“There is a labor shortage basically everywhere, so as the story goes, a lot of workers are being a little bit more choosy now,” says Dr. Jim Lee, professor of economics at TAMUCC.
As for when this shortage will end, Dr. Lee anticipates things will return to normal as job openings begin to fill.