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Hotel rooms run out of toilet paper. Customs officers hold avocados hostage without process. Questions arise about mystery meat. From the outside, hospitality supply chain management may seem like all glamour, but any brave soldier knows that’s far from the truth. Keep reading for lessons from the front line.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Dog Meat?

There’s nothing that can dismantle an empire easier than allegations of selling dog meat. The Shah Ghouse Hotel and Restaurant in Hyderabad, India received an onslaught of media attention after pictures of slaughtered dogs were linked to the restaurant’s biryani dish. Muhammad Rabbani, co-owner of the popular restaurant, was flabbergasted.

The error in supply chain management here was that the restaurant owners chose to do business with uncertified slaughterhouses, officials said.

In a tragic turn of events, the rumors proved untrue. The business student responsible for the article was identified as Chandra Mohan, who took to dispersing lies on WhatsApp. Chandra had no rivalry motive, as had been speculated by Shah Ghouse business owners; instead, he wanted to scare friends of his that enjoyed the restaurant’s prized biryani.

A clear statement with a clear defense would have helped Shah Ghouse at the outset. This is a great illustration of how following federal regulations is in the best interests of businesses; if you get in trouble, but you follow the rules, the law is more likely to take your side.

"Chipotle Runs" Gone Wrong

Chipotle is running out of food, and worst of all, it’s their carnitas. “Running out of food is a very common occurrence at Chipotle,” says Chief Marketing Officer Mark Crumpaker to Business Insider. “It's hard to do — to keep up with the demands in exactly the right way."

Regardless of the company’s explanation for this, their business is taking a hit. Chipotle customers have been raising an angry first about wanting a specific dish and not getting it, only second to their complaints about the establishment’s long lines. On top of all this, the corporation is undergoing a major transition period; their co-CEO Monty Moran stepped down after receiving pressure from the board, and the infamous e-coli scandal last year declined sales in the three quarters that followed.

How is the company proposing to make up for its inaccuracy in pork bearings? Training, says Crumpacker.

When Politics Takes Away Your Toilet Paper

Xinia Camacho, reports Fusionis a humble owner of a 20-room boutique in Venezuela. Her hotel overlooks the Andes and has attracted tourists from all over the world — until recently. In recent years, the socialist country of Venezuela has been faced with a vanishing supply of consumer products, like toilet paper. In cases like Xinia’s, where she now timidly asks guests to bring their own, it’s hardly her fault.

So what can this teach us about hospitality supply chain management?

“We don’t want to participate in the corruption of the black market,” says Camacho, faced with the option of getting Columbian toilet paper by illegal means. And besides: “I don’t have four hours a day to line up for toilet paper.” The black market multiplies the cost of toilet paper by six.

Moral of the story? A hospitality supply chain mistake doesn't have to be the end of your business. Whether you’re local or thinking of going global, these stories serve as a warning and a lesson learned for everyone.

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About Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson is AFFLINK'S Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He has been with the organization since 2005 and provides strategic leadership for the entire supply chain team. In his free time, Michael enjoys working with the Wounded Warrior Project, fishing, and improving his cooking skills.

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