How can you solve the problem of restaurant staffing shortage?
The issue of labour shortage in the food service industry has begun to make headlines in recent months. The reopening of restaurants, the increase in the seating limit, the permission for hosting special events – all this has highlighted the problem that restaurateurs have always been struggling with. Finding the right employees was already a major challenge, but the situation has been made worse by the increasing staff rotation. This article will provide you with answers to the following questions:
- What are the reasons for the ongoing staff shortage in the food service industry?
- How can the labour shortage affect the functioning of your restaurant?
- What can you do if this problem applies to your enterprise?
The reasons for the ongoing staff shortage in the food service industry
According to the National Restaurant Association, in 2021 almost half of all restaurants are operating with a 20% reduction in staff. Not surprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions played a major role in diminishing the number of people willing to work in the food industry. Because of the uncertain situation of their employers, a large number of employees have changed their working sector in search of stable employment conditions. The problem is currently quite serious, with players as large as McDonald’s reporting labour shortage difficulties. “We are fighting for people”, said one franchisee.
How can the labour shortage affect your restaurant?
Staff shortage is a significant challenge that has a material impact on the profitability of your business. What are the consequences of not having enough employees working on a shift?
Extended waiting time
Having fewer staff may considerably extend the waiting time for food orders and have a detrimental effect on customer service. Remember that time is one of the most important factors affecting consumer satisfaction.
Dissatisfaction of guests
As we have mentioned in our article, the level of customer service in your restaurant has a significant impact on the guest experience. When there are fewer people on a shift, mistakes are easier to come by. Customer satisfaction is a priority for any business, after all, it’s what guarantees repeat visits to your establishment.
Shorter opening hours
Lack of staff or overall personnel fatigue from working long hours can result in reduced opening hours of your restaurant, which in turn may have a direct impact on your daily takings.
Increased staff rotation
Remember about providing good working conditions! Staff dissatisfaction resulting from being overloaded with duties, longer working hours or unpredictable schedule changes are all factors that encourage employees to change their employers.
Effective methods of solving restaurant labour shortages
Streamline your menu
At the start of the pandemic, many restaurants cut their menus to just a few popular and profit-making dishes. Following this strategy may simplify the work of your entire team, especially if you are short on staff.
Shorten or adjust restaurant opening hours
Although such a decision may have a temporary impact on your takings, this is an excellent move in a situation of crisis. If you want to retain the staff you already have, you need to adjust your opening hours to the current number of your employees.
Communicate changes with your guests
Regardless of what changes you are planning to introduce – whether they are short-term or long-term changes – make sure to inform all your guests. Important information should always be easily accessible on your website or your Facebook fanpage.
Focus on deliveries
Demand for home delivery is continuously growing, so think about introducing this type of service in your restaurant. Handling delivery orders requires less manpower than standard “on-site” customer service.
Let technology give you a helping hand
The Papu.io system will help you automate the process of handling takeaway orders from various sources. By automating your order management process, you will be able to partially reduce the number of people needed to handle it and increase the efficiency of your delivery service. Among others, Papu.io will allow you to remotely control the work of your drivers and automatically account for their work at the end of the day.