Red Rooster, Porto forced to make huge menu change

More fast food restaurants have announced menu changes amid Australian food shortages – but a popular chain has not been affected.

Two other fast food chains have been forced to change their menus due to rising vegetable prices in Australia, but one popular restaurant has not been affected.

Red Rooster and Porto told news.com.au that due to nationwide lettuce shortage both restaurants are “temporarily using a mix of lettuce and cabbage in some menu items.”

The dramatic move comes after Subway and KFC made similar changes after recent flooding in Queensland and New South Wales saw lettuce prices soar to as high as $12 a head.

However, McDonald’s Australia has confirmed that it is currently unaffected by the lettuce disaster spiral, telling news.com.au: “We are working closely with our suppliers to continue to serve our full menu to clients.”

Red Rooster alerted consumers to the menu change with a humorous Instagram post Thursday night that drew a mixed response.

“The boss just called to let the lettuce know…” a series of photos from readings.

“Due to the recent floods, there is a shortage of leafy plants.

“As a result, we are temporarily using a mix of lettuce and cabbage until further notice.”

Red Rooster ended by captioning the announcement, “We never kill this coming.”

While many of the chicken giant’s 22,400 subscribers saw the funny side, joining in their own puns in the comment sections, others were outraged.

“There is no shortage here, they are only $12 each!!!!” a user, who does not seem to understand the situation, wrote.

“Cringe, it’s not like you can’t get lettuce,” said another.

Not everyone was angry, however, with some shedding light on the spiraling situation, including this cracker: “COS it can’t get any worse.”

Others even urged Red Rooster to “keep the cabbage on all the time.”

Many KFC fans have also been frustrated with the recent decision to switch to the cabbage and lettuce mix, with some calling it a “strange choice”.

“The fact that you replace lettuce with cabbage makes me rethink my whole meal at KFC. There are four or five other things I would eat before cabbage. This is such a weird choice,” one person tweeted.

“It looks like a sign of the apocalypse,” said another.

Subway then followed suit, becoming the second fast food chain to make the major change to its famous sandwiches.

Officially the menu changes are “temporary”, but experts have warned that the vegetable shortage – which is also currently affecting peppers and spinach – could continue for at least the next three months.

Bill Bulmer, Victorian lettuce grower and chairman of the industry body for Australian vegetable growers, AUSVEG, said 3AW another vegetable would also be added to the shortage vegetable list soon.

“So probably the impending shortage in the spring will be onions,” he said on Tuesday.

Just as we saw with lettuce, a shortage of onions is expected to drive up prices for the vegetable.

Supermarket giant Woolworths has also informed customers that it is experiencing a slight disruption to some other vegetables, including Lebanese cucumbers, kale, fresh herbs, zucchini, beans, tomatoes, capsicum, berries, broccoli and spinach.

Mr Bulmer said the devastating floods in Queensland were the main driver of these shortages, wiping out around 80% of lettuce crops.

“We have been pounded by La Nina for the last 12 months. Australia’s main growing area for lettuce at this time of year is out of Brisbane in the Gatton area and they were hit by flooding in February as well as May,” he told the radio station.

“Normally, you would probably see $1.50 to $2.50 lettuce in the supermarket right now.”

The AUSVEG president said he wouldn’t even bother to buy a lettuce from the supermarket at the moment due to the rising prices.

“I’ve heard prices ranging from $10 to $12. It’s a supply and demand issue,” he said.

“There are pockets of lettuce here and there across Australia but, as I said, most of it comes from the Gatton area at this time of year.

“People who want them pay for them.”

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