The Gloves Are Off The Charts
by Jillian Straw
We all know that 2020 brought with it a myriad of supply chain issues that ended up causing certain items to be out of stock for long periods of time and increased prices once they were available again. We’ve seen the articles on milk being tossed, or of ketchup packets soaring. But when I think of items affected by COVID, I recall the days of hand sanitizer and gloves being nearly impossible to find.
Within the restaurant and hospitality industries, margins are small. When looking at the cost of goods, seeing anything over a straight line is cause to worry. Especially when it involves items that are necessary to order. There is no kitchen functioning today that doesn’t order copious amounts of gloves regularly, and with 2020 requiring those gloves to be changed even more frequently the orders, of course, increased past their normal range.
The issue here is when the cost increases alongside the amount being ordered. So, Plate IQ hit the books and pooled our data. What we found was absolutely shocking.
Looking at the prices at the end of April 2020 through April 2021, you’d think that prices had averaged out. The worst of the pandemic seems to be ending and regions are continuing their reopening schedules. However, in that one year time frame the price of gloves has only risen.
From April 27th, 2020 through April 27th, 2021 the average price for a pair of gloves rose by over 156%
Yes, you read that right. While other goods, like pollock, have seen rises of 13% according to our data, these gloves are coasting along at ten times that difference. Given the trends following through the end of April into May, this increase seems to be “the new normal” and could prove disastrous to the restaurant industry’s bottom line.
Whenever Plate IQ talks about our data and reporting functions within our Insights module, we mention that any given item should appear as a straight line. Slight increases or decreases are to be expected due to seasonality or availability. However, increases of 150% can hardly be considered slight. Imagine having to wait until you close the books to realize you’ve gone over budget by such a significant amount? Well, with Insights it is possible to be alerted the moment your allotted increase threshold has been breached.
Let your invoice data work for you, and check out how Plate IQ Insights can keep you ahead of the game.
Jillian Straw writes for Plate IQ, covering technology in the hospitality industry from a background in restaurants and operations management.
Stay up to date on the latest news in AP automation and finance