ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Supply chain issues continue to impact the restaurant industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Harris Pizza is learning to live with those problems.

"If you would've asked me what normal was in 2019, I had a better description. What normal is now is kind of like a runaway train or a big train wreck," Harris Pizza co-owner Ryan Mosley said. "There (are) never two days in this business that are exactly the same anymore."

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The supply chain problems have impacted what ingredients they're able to get for the pizza. Right now, he said cheese has been an issue; and meat toppings, such as sausage and pepperoni, have been in the past.

Prices have also gone up for ingredients used in the dough, including wheat, sugar and salt.

"I would believe we would have to learn how to live with this stuff if we want to still survive," Mosley said. "I have found that within the weekly planning of my normal week, I have to add about two-to-three hours a week actually searching and hunting for products."

Harris Pizza took some items off its menu because it hasn't been able to get the ingredients. Mosley said it's not currently selling Reuben sandwiches because corned beef has been so scarce, and he hasn't been able to buy cauliflower in months for the breaded cauliflower appetizer.

He expects chicken to be the next item difficult to find in the next few months due to the avian flu impacting flocks across Iowa.

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It's all about learning to plan ahead, Mosley said.

"If you see something on the shelf today, it might not be there in three or four hours," he said. "If you see that your vendor has it, you might want to buy up."

But, he added, you can't buy too much at once because it could go bad, and he also has to pay attention when things are being delivered.

"You also have to watch that the volume is good so that the dates that are on the products coming in are staying constant," Mosley said. "So if they're getting backlogged, you have to watch out for possibly sending items back that are not acceptable and things like that."

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It's not just the ingredients in the pizza that are facing rising costs. Higher heating costs this winter cost Harris Pizza more to run its ovens.

Mosley has also noticed an increase in what he pays for the cardboard pizza boxes. It's up 24% from last August.

"Everything is all hands on deck to try to find and secure everything," he said. "It's only gonna get worse."

Unfortunately, all this means customers could soon be paying more.

"We still want to serve the same quality product that we're serving and not cutting corners," Mosley said. "In order to do that, if the vendors keep pushing us higher and higher and higher, we have no choice but to pass it along like the grocery stores have passed along to us already."