Just when Covid-19 was becoming more manageable for restaurants, the war in Ukraine is intensifying inflationary pressures on everything from wages to food supplies to equipment. No doubt, these are trying times for operators – and economists expect them to continue into next year. But these times can also provide opportunities to fix operational processes that have long needed attention and can no longer be ignored. As Keith Anderkin, chief supply chain officer for the fast-casual chicken chain Zaxby’s, recently said in a podcast for Restaurant Business, “never waste a good crisis.” Imagine how your business will be in a position to thrive in better times if you can get a handle on any weak points now. So what might you do to ensure you’re operating as efficiently as you can? Fine-tune your communication with your marketing team so you’re able to adjust your calendar of promotions in sync with your changing supply. That may mean focusing more on core menu items that are easier to source, then weaving in limited-time offers as needed to ease the pressure when supplies become scarce. Or it could mean strengthening your pipeline of menu items in development so you have a deeper bench to lean on when a key player isn’t available. You might assess your current and future equipment needs and find out where a substitute piece of equipment may be acceptable – and get a jump on ordering something that is critical but comes with a long waiting period. It may mean taking a closer look at your labor and identifying how to ensure you’re using it wisely in both front-of-house and back-of-house tasks. It’s rare to be operating at a time when so many challenges are colliding. Making sure you’re in close connection with all areas of your operation can help you understand any areas where you might find some relief.