Foodservice Updates is designed to help foodservice operators keep on top of all the industry news and provides tips for keeping business running smooth. We endeavor to provide the latest tips and solutions to keep you in the know.
Look at labor differently
Labor needs have been soaring at restaurants, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at enrollment in culinary schools. According to a recent Washington Post report, the Culinary Institute of America now accepts 97 percent of all who apply, up from 36 percent two decades ago. Over the same time frame, the percentage of students who ended up enrolling dropped from 91 percent to 33 percent. To be sure, the low pay in the sector relative to the cost of culinary education, the strains of the pandemic on the industry, and increased prioritization of flexible work schedules, paid sick leave and health insurance haven’t helped those results. The industry’s labor challenges are expected to persist: The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for chefs will climb 25 percent from 2020 to 2030 as compared to an 8 percent average projected growth rate for all occupations. All that said, there is a silver lining for those looking to enter the industry – and for restaurants looking for motivated staff. The current conditions may provide aspiring chefs with the opportunity to get on a faster track to higher-level positions in the industry. One restaurant manager quoted in the Post report said jobs that once required a person to pay their dues over 10 years or more might now be achievable within three to five years. Candidates for these jobs may not come from the country’s top culinary schools but from high school culinary programs or other alternative programs that give students a taste of restaurant work and may spark some motivation for developing a career in the industry. Restaurant operators may have to mine for talent in new places and develop more in-depth training programs that provide education on the job in exchange for work provided. But at the same time, these efforts may also help transform how restaurant employment is perceived by the workforce, elevating restaurants as places in which a person can build a long-term career.
Are you ready for autumn outdoor dining?
As the weather cools, you’re likely to experience a shift in guest preferences and expectations when it comes to your available seating, both indoors and out. While many of your guests may have put the pandemic behind them and are happy to eat inside, others may be looking to avoid mixing with others indoors and expecting your outdoor seating area to be open. Now is a good time to give your cool-weather plan a review so you can readily tell guests in advance (on your website, reservations platform, phone line and other places where you provide information about your restaurant) whether your outdoor seating area is open, as well as share any adaptations you have made to make the area more comfortable in chilly weather. After all, in an era of abundant plexiglass and dining bubbles, outdoor dining in cool weather can look very different across restaurants. While you’re at it, consider the comfort and safety of your outdoor furniture – including replacing aluminum chairs that are icy to the touch or using blankets to warm them up, covering or securely storing outdoor furniture overnight to protect it against inclement weather, and clearing away leaves, twigs and other debris that may collect on your walkways and cause a tripping hazard.
How to Maximize Your Menu with Less
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From fully customizable to ready to heat and serve, our ingredient chicken and steak products deliver labor and time savings, better yield, and less waste. Additionally, these products are incredibly versatile for usage in applications across the board—from popular favorites to trendy flavor profiles. Click to see how easily these come to life in simple, and incredibly tasty, recipes.
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