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D. Nalley’s owner gives an MBA’s view of the supply-chain

by Robin Garr » Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:13 am

D. Nalley’s owner gives an MBA’s-eye view of the supply-chain roller-coaster

Gibin George, U of L MBA and owner/chef at D. Nalley's Diner, sat down to talk with us about supply chain and labor issues in the second year of the pandemic.
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Imagine yourself as the owner and cook at a popular short-order diner. Suddenly you look around and discover that the price of your cooking oil has tripled, and you can’t buy biscuits for love or money.

Those challenges make things tough when your customers are looking for breakfast all day and the many fried delights that make diner fare so delicious. And that’s just the beginning, says Gibin George, owner and chef at D. Nalley’s Diner.

“In the last few months,” he said in an extended interview that started via email and continued face-to-face, “we have had several items that we regularly buy at major vendors like Restaurant Depot, Sysco, GFS not being available. The items vary from paper products like to-go boxes and wrapped straws to consumable products like onion rings and liquid eggs. They’re out of stock on a lot of things.”

He’s not blaming his friends at the restaurant supply shops. “All these places are completely out. Restaurant Depot is close to us. I’m there every day. Their manager, Daniel, is trying hard. It’s not his fault, but lack of employees and lack of product, and when it’s gone, it’s gone for weeks, and there’s nothing we can do except look outside the box.”

Supply issues have gotten so complicated, he added, that he’s had to turn to Amazon Prime for several products. “We used to do the biscuits,” he said. “We’re an old-school American diner, with inexpensive food. But now chicken has doubled in price. A 35-pound container of cooking oil has gone from $15 to $45, and big 20-pound rolls of beef have increased four times.”

George brings an unexpected set of management tools as a diner owner trying to thrive during a worldwide pandemic. Migrating with his family from New Delhi, India, in 2007, when he was just 17, he headed straight for U of L. He completed his bachelor’s degree in business and then want on to complete his M.B.A. from U of L’s graduate College of Business. He’s such a big U of L fan that he has repainted the exterior of his building at 970 S. Third St. bright, bold Cardinal red and black.

That sounds like a pathway to corporate stardom or maybe hedge-fund management. But George went in a different direction: He set his sights on restaurant management when he fell into an opportunity at another long-running diner. ...

Read the complete article on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/d-nalleys-owner-mba

You'll also find this commentary in LEO Weekly online later this week.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

D. Nalley’s
970 S. 3rd St.

618-2429
http://dnalleys.com
https://facebook.com/d.nalleysdiner
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Re: D. Nalley’s owner gives an MBA’s view of the supply-chai

by Carla G » Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:06 am

Americans have been accustomed to being able to buy anything they want, whenever they want, ("Not in season? What does that mean?") and be able to buy it cheap. Production of so many things have been moved overseas because of cheap labor. Cheap, unregulated labor meant (sometimes) cheap prices to the consumer. Sometimes (usually) it just meant larger profits to the manufacturer. And now those days may be fading away. Political disagreements coupled with high transportation costs layered on top of labor shortages everywhere (because of the toll of COVID) and all of a sudden our hyper indulged society is having to do without.
This is a paradigm shift of great magnitude. We'll either adapt or...not. Personally I think any changes that come about because of it will only be for the better.
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Re: D. Nalley’s owner gives an MBA’s view of the supply-chai

by Mark R. » Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:06 pm

Carla G wrote:This is a paradigm shift of great magnitude. We'll either adapt or...not. Personally I think any changes that come about because of it will only be for the better.

While we have certainly seen a great shift in many categories and we are definitely having to adapt, which many people and places are doing quite rapidly, I'm not sure how much of it is for the better. Except for the increase in salaries for restaurant workers I don't believe most of it is. The huge jumps in food prices both in grocery stores and restaurants is hurting people's wallets significantly and causing many people to cut back on dining and in many cases even buying food. I certainly don't believe that's for the better. I truly believe that many of the shortages we are seeing are being caused by suppliers creating artificial shortages to justify increasing prices. After all overall we aren't eating more used to, we're just eating it in different places so the basic matter to you have to be available in the marketplace. If the restaurants aren't using them they have to be available unless air being thrown into dumps!
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Re: D. Nalley’s owner gives an MBA’s view of the supply-chai

by Carla G » Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:31 am

Mark R. wrote:
Carla G wrote:This is a paradigm shift of great magnitude. We'll either adapt or...not. Personally I think any changes that come about because of it will only be for the better.

While we have certainly seen a great shift in many categories and we are definitely having to adapt, which many people and places are doing quite rapidly, I'm not sure how much of it is for the better. Except for the increase in salaries for restaurant workers I don't believe most of it is. The huge jumps in food prices both in grocery stores and restaurants is hurting people's wallets significantly and causing many people to cut back on dining and in many cases even buying food. I certainly don't believe that's for the better. I truly believe that many of the shortages we are seeing are being caused by suppliers creating artificial shortages to justify increasing prices. After all overall we aren't eating more used to, we're just eating it in different places so the basic matter to you have to be available in the marketplace. If the restaurants aren't using them they have to be available unless air being thrown into dumps!


I think the food prices will shake out given a bit of time. Like you said, they will either sell it or have to dump it. I'm thinking the things that usually drive up food costs (like transporting out of season foods from warmer to colder climes) will be reduced or eliminated while we learn to appreciate more locally grown produce native to our area as they come into season. Yeah, the idea of oysters in the summertime might fade into the past because airfreight costs are so high but we will go back to appreciating them in the colder months when they can more affordably be trucked in. For example: the Peach Truck seems to be doing quite well as they truck up their peaches from Georgia (?) instead of people eating those from California that are flown in (or heck, even China for that matter.).
Industry segments taking a hit might be dairy or meat as people's diets drive and change the demands. As always, items in the highest demand will be able to demand the most dollars. Items in less demand will suffer. Industries (like dairy and beef) whose demands may fall because of social climate but whose operating costs remain high because of feeding, sheltering and medical demands of their livestock might find themselves taking a big hit. Maybe we will see Beef Trucks coming in from Kansas the way we see shrimp trucks coming up from Florida? Or, maybe we will just do without (unless you live near the point of origin) because truck fuel contributes so much to air pollution. Or because no one wants an industrial sized pig or chicken farm in their back yard.
The point I was trying to make (I failed) was that our shopping, buying, selling, habits will change and pricing will vary because of that. I can pretty much guarantee that we will rue the day we allowed our local, family run farms go out of business and didn't subsidize them instead of large corporations. A moderate, locally owned and maintained farm can supply a population with most of its dietary needs. Because its local its better suited to morph and evolve with the specific needs of its community. No one is eating eggs? Sell chicken meat. Whole milk out of fashion? Sell beef and leather. Take that no longer pasture land needed for grazing and put in a crop. Adapt, evolve, change.

And I totally agree with you , we are not eating more but we are throwing away and wasting more than any other generation. And if that's true, why are so many going hungry in a nation such as ours? I think a restructuring is in order to shift the supply and demand change away from a handful of major corporations (read- Nestles) and back in line to the benefit of the population as a whole.
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson

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