The latest supply chain challenge to hit McDonald's Corp. is the lack of paper bags for food orders. The chain told restaurant owners to limit their bag orders from suppliers as usage is above seasonal trends, according to an internal message from the fast-food company, seen by The Wall Street Journal.
McDonald's said customers who dine inside are demanding Big Macs, McNuggets, and fries be served in bags rather than trays which have compounded the tightness of the paper bag supplies.
"Many new crew members have never had to deal with trays before," the internal memo stated. The "transition to using trays has been slower, more difficult because we haven't done it in so long."
McDonald's is confident bag supplies will not transform into a shortage:
"We are confident customers should not see disruption," the company said. "We will continue to watch closely."
The fast-food chain has also been dealt with other scarce items, and costs continue to rise. Prices at its restaurants are up about 6% from last year as it struggles with labor and food inflation pressures.
McDonald's is not the only fast-food restaurant dealing with supply chain problems.
Taco Bell and Starbucks recently warned customers some menu items might not be available due to food and ingredient shortages.
According to the latest Reuters poll, at least nine major fast-food chains and restaurants reported shortages of key ingredients and menu items.
Some restaurant chains are getting creative as supply chain conditions worsen. The chain Wingstop recently launched a brand centered on another part of the bird, calling itself "Thighstop."
Persisting supply chain challenges continue to plague fast and fast-casual restaurants. So what happens when McDonald's runs out of paper bags? How will it serve food to its on-the-go customers?