Out of Stock: Impact on Coffee Shop Supplies and Management

You've probably noticed it's much harder to get the supplies you need right now. You may be struggling to find even basic supplies like clear plastic cups or things sold in aluminum cans. It's not because every supplier forgot how to stock all of a sudden; it's much bigger than that. If you want to know why everything in the world seems to be out of stock, keep reading!

It all started in March of 2020.

Panic Buying, Why We're Out of Stock: The Worldwide Problem

What Are Stockouts?

Panic Buying, Why We're Out of Stock: The Worldwide Problem

When everything got locked down in March 2020, we thought life might go back to normal in a matter of weeks. As we all know now, it didn't go away in a few weeks, and it lasted more than a year. Well, in that year, life changed for everyone.

Suddenly, restaurants weren't getting the traffic they used to. Those restaurants didn't need to buy as many supplies, like paper cups and plastic spoons. It didn't make sense for manufacturers to keep making supplies in the quantities they had previously. Alongside that, certain borders were closed, and the movement of goods was restricted. Even products with increased demand, like toilet paper and computer chips, were going out of stock because they couldn't get past the borders.

As demand slowed, so did production. 

Because certain borders were closed and products couldn't get to their destinations, production slowed. As the public closed down, demand for many products decreased, and demand for others increased. Manufacturers couldn't deliver their products, so they slowed down production so as not to worsen the bottleneck.

What is the process of cafe management?

Key takeaways: The process of cafe management is a multifaceted series of organized steps to make sure that your shop is running smoothy. Some of the daily operations that you are going to face are planning, staffing, inventory management, customer service, marketing and financial management; among other duties. These are all aspects that are essential in an effective coffee shop management. Effective coffee shop marketing can significantly boost the cafe's visibility and customer base. 

The world opened up fast.

People in Coffee Shops, Out Of Stock: The Worldwide Problem

People in Coffee Shop, Out Of Stock: The Worldwide Problem

As infection rates decreased, the world opened back up. All of a sudden, people weren't restricted; they could eat at restaurants and be in public. Just like the beginning of the pandemic, this happened all at once. Suddenly, people were back in restaurants. The demand for products increased overnight.

The supply chain doesn't work that fast.

The global supply chain could be thought of as a complicated puzzle. There are lots of pieces that need to work together in order for everything to function. Currently, the global supply chain is seeing delays like never before. Cargo ships like those shown below are being delayed by weeks, if not months, at multiple points along the supply chain. This is causing delays for anyone who is looking to get products from overseas. If suppliers like us are lucky enough to secure a shipping container's worth of product, the pricing for that container has gone up about four times the cost of what it was 18 months ago. Combine these factors with a labor shortage, and you've got a real mess on your hands.

Overseas manufacturing isn't the only thing being impacted. Manufacturing happening in the United States has seen price increases across the board as well. The cost of most, if not all, materials has taken many price jumps within the past six months. That, along with increased demand, has inflated prices and lengthened lead times everywhere.

Cargo Ship, Why We're Out of Stock: The Worldwide Problem

How to Prevent Stockouts?

Cargo Ship, Why We're Out of Stock: The Worldwide Problem

Unlike consumer demand, the supply chain doesn't work quickly. Wholesale suppliers like us plan the manufacturing schedule months, sometimes years, in advance. Once supplies are manufactured, they have to be transported in a shipping container overseas and then all the way to our warehouse. Sadly, we aren't the only company trying to get supplies from overseas. All of the major ports are bottlenecked to the point that cargo ships are waiting for months to unload.

What We're Doing

Hot Cup Factory continues to make strategic changes to our supply chain model in order to combat the external forces we told you about above. Nothing is more disheartening to us than the possibility of letting our customers down. We exist to "Build People and Deliver Joy," and we can't do that if no one has products to sell. We want you to know we are working hard in order to deliver as many quality products as possible. That's our mission - to be a dependable supplier of high-quality products.

Consider Custom Cups

Custom Double Wall Cup, Out Of Stock: The Worldwide Problem

Custom Double Wall Cup, Out Of Stock: The Worldwide Problem

Here at Hot Cup Factory, we're trying desperately to get you the supplies you need in a timely manner. If you'd like more control over the manufacturing process and your inventory, consider going the custom route. Many customers are making the switch from stock to custom because of the many advantages that custom cup customers are provided. If you'd like more information about custom cups or if you'd like to hear about our custom cup storage options, please email us at custombranding@hotcupfactory.com or click here.

We have customer solutions and sales reps who would love to answer any questions you may have. We do our best to focus on solutions and not problems here at Hot Cup Factory. We will do our best to find the exact solution you need!

If you want to learn more about what's going on with the global supply chain, here are a few good articles. (IFC, FreightWaves)


Stockout issues, often referred to as "temporary out of stock" situations, arise primarily from poor inventory management, supply chain disruptions, or unexpected spikes in demand. To understand how to prevent stockouts, businesses need to focus on improved forecasting, nurturing supply chain relationships, and leveraging inventory management technology. Ensuring consistent stock levels not only satisfies customer expectations but also maintains a seamless business flow.