Lack of truckers impacting restaurants in the Ozarks

One restaurant dealing with smaller than normal or late shipments
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A nationwide lack of truckers is causing supply issues for several businesses, including restaurants.

“You never know what’s gonna be missing off your truck,” said Leong’s Asian Diner Owner, Chef Wing Leong.

And that’s only part of the problem. One truck last week took his food to Lebanon.

“My truck didn’t show up until 8 o’clock at night,” said Leong. “You know, we were almost closed at that time.”

Sometimes there is no chicken to be had, which is not good for a place known for its cashew chicken. Other times, it’s dumplings, or paper products like straws.

Sysco and other suppliers are dealing with a lack of drivers.

“They’ve offered bonuses, incentives, and they just can’t seem to staff it,” said Leong.

In a statement from Sysco, it reads the new infrastructure bill may help, which would allow for 18 to 20-year-olds with a CDL to drive after 400 hours of training. But that won’t be an overnight fix.

“It shows how important trucker commerce is to our industry,” Leong said.

It’s an industry that has had its share of difficulty, but Leong says he’s fared pretty well so far.

“The people have been very gracious, my customers, they’ve been, on the most part, understanding,” began Leong. “I’m trying to keep them abreast of everything, keep everyone happy from my customers to my employees.”

And much like many other businesses, he’s in need of more of those employees.

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