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November 19, 2021
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Labor Concerns in the Restaurant Industry

Restaurants are having a difficult time getting their employees back to work, as well as hiring new employees due to the additional unemployment benefits implemented from the pandemic. Because of this, many restaurants are having to close locations or implement limited hours for locations where they are short-staffed. This is ultimately leading to customer wait times increasing, increasing prices, and slower order turnaround times.

Restaurants are trying every trick in the book to entice consumers to come work for them. Things like offering increased pay, bonuses, additional holidays, etc.. are just some of the tactics being implemented. Is it working? Some would say it is working slightly, but there is still a ways to go to get staffing levels back up to normal. With the ending of the extra unemployment checks in many states around the nation, we may start to see staffing shortages turn around. 

How can we reduce this shortage in the future? Some would say that there needs to be reform within the restaurant industry to retain employees. Employees previously had low wages, with no benefits or growth within their field and long hours. These working conditions have given the restaurant industry a negative reputation and made recruiting new employees challenging. Employees want to feel like they are valuable and not easily replaceable. By offering some of the previously mentioned hiring benefits, restaurants can move towards finding high-quality talent that intends on staying around.   

Even though this is a tough time for hiring within the industry, there is some expected growth within the next few years. Until then, restaurants can attract the right talent by investing in their employees with better compensation, ensuring they are recognized and valued, and offer increased flexibility for work schedules to allow for improved work/life balance. Although this may seem like an upfront investment, happy employees will ultimately pay off in the future.    

Written by Kelli

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