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Restaurants Fight to Rebound Amidst the Labor Shortage

June 07, 2021

It is no secret that the pandemic has created a labor shortage in the foodservice industry. Owners have to compete with unemployment payments, which in some cases are more than restaurant worker’s average wages. However, there are many solutions to help owners hire and retain a fantastic team. If you want to know where to post open positions, learn about employee retention techniques, and more, our restaurant supply store provides tips below.

The Best Ways to Find Excellent Staff During a Labor Shortage

Labor shortages in restaurants have been around before, and owners have still persevered. Now, as in the past, there are some tried-and-true methods for hiring front and back-of-house staff. It might take a little more time, but the results pay off in the end. Here’s how to foster the best team for your restaurant and bounce back.

Reach Out to Culinary Schools 

A great way to increase your back-of-house talent is to contact culinary or hospitality schools in your area. Soon-to-be graduates will be excited to jump right into the kitchen, plus they will be fully trained on professional cooking techniques, wholesale meat and seafood butchering, and the latest culinary trends. You can also inquire about new graduates in hospitality management to help run your bar or manage service staff.

Reach out to culinary schools to speak with soon-to-be graduates

Advertise Positions on Your Website 

Employees excited about the company they work for are invaluable. If someone is perusing your website, they are likely a fan of your establishment. Draw from the pool of potential workers familiar with your restaurant by posting jobs directly on your website. 

Post Open Positions on Industry-Specific Sites 

To contact experienced kitchen, service, and bar staff, utilize restaurant-focused hiring sites. There are plenty of hospitality and restaurant job boards across the U.S. that can help you communicate with your target audience. Working with an on-demand foodservice staffing agency, like Snagajob, can help you find trained staff, saving you more time to focus on running your restaurant. 

Develop an Employee Referral Plan 

The restaurant industry is one big family. Seasoned hospitality workers likely have friends and former co-workers they know would make an asset to your team. By offering a referral incentive to existing employees, you find excellent staff quickly.

Ways to Mitigate Employee Turnover and Retain Your Staff 

Restaurants historically have a high turnover rate. Even just a few years ago, the rate was close to 75%. So, when you get your establishment fully staffed, it’s essential to keep your employees. As restaurant owners know, re-hiring and training are time-consuming and costly. 

Provide your restaurant staff with family meals

Here are a few simple ways to keep employees working with you for years to come:

  • Show appreciation: Saying thank you, giving gift cards for top performance, and setting up bonus programs are all fantastic ways to show your employees that you see and value their hard work. Another, simple, and cost-effective display of appreciation is providing staff “family meals." Staff meals are also a great way to use up any leftover food or produce. 
  • Offer flexibility in scheduling: Many workers have different life challenges due to COVID-19, so allowing employees to have some scheduling flexibility can allow them to stay on.
  • Create a safe environment: With coronavirus still a real concern, creating a safe environment for your staff can reassure them that you care about their wellbeing. Staying up to date with social-distancing protocols and implementing strategies to reduce contact are both great ways to foster safety. 

Shop Top-Quality Restaurant Supplies and Save on Costs 

At US Foods CHEF’STORE, we carry the best foodservice products at competitive prices. Our stores offer professional-grade cleaning and sanitation supplies, fresh wholesale produce, quality proteins, and more!  Visit our many locations near you and sign up for our customer card. Need products delivered directly to you? Take advantage of our third-party delivery services

For the latest information on restaurant industry labor shortage statistics, facts, and solutions, check out our comprehensive analysis.

CHEF’STORE Industry Report: 

How Your Restaurant Can Navigate the Labor Shortage

Click to View or Download the Report

Our latest Industry Report provides an in-depth look into the labor shortage in 2021 and unique solutions restaurants are implementing to rebound.

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