It’s no secret that restaurants are facing a serious worker shortage that is expected to last through the end of 2022. We’ve already talked about why the Great Resignation hit the hospitality industry so hard, but the question remains: what can your restaurant do about it?
Here are 8 great strategies that can help your restaurant cope with the worker shortage.
One of the biggest keys to dealing with the shortage is making sure you keep the people you already have. One of the keys to retention is not assuming you know what your workers want. Throwing money at the problem doesn’t always work.
Instead, survey your workers about what really matters to them, and be prepared to offer them what they want. This might include:
Talk through these options with your staff to make it clear you value them and their opinions. Just listening to your staff can improve retention.
Part of what makes restaurant work challenging is all the annoying side tasks that can burden workers trying to focus on their main jobs.
Tasks like rolling silverware and all the administrative tracking you might require can potentially be put aside until you have more personnel to handle it.
Ask your guests if they want immediate service or if they would prefer to settle in with their menu first, which can save your servers time. Some restaurant guests might actually prefer to order via an app if you make this option available.
Try to present these as options to your guests rather than impositions. Guests will feel happier if you give them options rather than forcing them to accept what some might see as a reduction in service.
When you’re experiencing shortages in your cook staff, you can save them time by simplifying your menu. With fewer options to prepare, and shorter cook times, your kitchen staff can better handle orders. This can also help you deal with spiking prices for some ingredients.
Usually, ghost kitchens pop up simply for takeout and delivery. However, it’s also possible to utilize a well-staffed ghost kitchen to prepare food that you then plate up for your in-house guests.
It’s not ideal, but it’s better than shutting down if you lose your cooking staff.
Up to this point, we’ve focused on making do with the people you have. However, there are also strategies you can use to improve hiring even in this difficult labor market.
First, start by publicizing your openings. It might have been enough in the past to put a sign in your window, but that isn’t going to cut it today. List your openings online, use social media, and post flyers in places where potential workers gather. Reach out to community organizations looking to help people find work, talk to high school guidance counsellors, and do whatever else you can think of to put your positions in front of as many candidates as possible.
Now is the time to open hiring to candidates you might not have considered in the past. We’re not just talking about accepting people with less experience and higher salary demands. You should consider hiring demographics you might have shied away from in the past, including younger workers, older workers, different ethnicities, and people with disabilities who can do the job with reasonable accommodations.
A restaurant staffing service is a powerful resource when you’re short-staffed. However, it can help even more if the staffing service offers the option to hire people who work especially well with your team.
This can seem more expensive than a traditional hiring search, but these days hiring searches are anything but traditional. You might find that the temp-to-hire model is both reliable and affordable in this competitive hiring market.
When you are short on staff, Xclusive Services can be a lifesaver. We can help you keep your restaurant working at high efficiency.
You’ll see the difference we can make thanks to our Xclusive Excellence™ promise. This means that Xclusive Services will:
This not only helps you keep your customers happy, but it also helps you retain your current employees by easing the strain on them. We will talk to you and find an efficient staffing solution for your business that helps you stay competitive in these challenging times.
Please call a nearby location for an urgent staffing need or use our online form today to request a quote.
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