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Why are McDonald’s milkshakes McMissing in the UK?


McDonald’s milkshake dispenser dispensing into paper cups

We already know that COVID-19-related supply chain issues have put a major dent in every sector of the food industry. There are a lot of reasons for that, including rising product and transport costs. Now, in Britain, Brexit complications are making matters even worse. The result is perhaps the worst outcome imaginable: McDonald’s has temporarily removed milkshakes from all UK menus.

Reuters reports that McDonald’s has taken all milkshakes and bottled drinks off of British menus as the chain continues to battle both supply chain issues and post-Brexit logistics. “Like most retailers, we are currently experiencing some supply chain issues, impacting the availability of a small number of products,” a McDonald’s UK and Ireland spokesperson said in a statement earlier this week.

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The company wasn’t entirely clear about the specific issues. One thing is clear, however: while supply shortages certainly aren’t limited to Britain, the region is currently facing what Reuters calls “an exodus of European [delivery] drivers.” Reuters cites the Road Haulage Association, which estimates that around 30,000 delivery drivers have stopped operating in the country since Brexit became official. That means fewer drivers to deliver McDonald’s products which, in turn, means slower deliveries and reduced product availability. If no one wants to haul your shakes, you can’t have shakes. Simple as that.

McDonald’s isn’t the only UK chain making tough decisions. Last week, we explained that Nando’s, the beloved UK chicken chain, has faced chicken shortages and shuttered 45 of its locations across England, Scotland, and Wales. Nando’s even sent some of its employees directly to chicken suppliers to help get chicken shipments rolling. Perhaps McDonald’s will do the same? I’m picturing leagues of weary McDonald’s employees carrying entire dairy cows across the rolling UK countryside. Stiff upper lip and all that. Whatever it takes to get the people their shakes.



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