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.
Recovery in reverse?
In a recent legislative update from Washington, Sean Kennedy, the National Restaurant Association’s executive vice president of public affairs, said the restaurant industry had lost 45,000 jobs at the end of August. Further, new vaccine and testing mandates at businesses with a certain threshold of employees on staff could also make already-challenging staffing conditions even more difficult. To be sure, this is not exactly the Covid-19 recovery that restaurant operators had in mind – but there are efforts underway to try and change that. Industry advocates are urging lawmakers to continue to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), though Kennedy says it appears that members of Congress don’t want to add any Covid-recovery measures to the $3.5 trillion infrastructure spending plan in process, which is focused largely on climate initiatives, paid leave, childcare, education and healthcare. Because funding the spending plan will impact businesses in the restaurant industry, however, Kennedy is urging operators to add their names to Restaurants Act, a grassroots organization for the restaurant industry that is looking to generate broad support from the restaurant industry in order to urge lawmakers to continue to fund the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. (The fund closed to new applicants in May and according to a recent announcement from the Independent Restaurant Coalition, 82 percent of independent restaurants are concerned they may close permanently if the fund is not replenished.) You can join or learn more about the effort to refill the fund at Restaurantsact.com.
Eliminate the reasons for employee turnover
The restaurant industry is still trying to climb its way back to pre-pandemic employment levels. According to research from the National Restaurant Association, the industry is still about one million jobs shy of the 12.3 million jobs it offered before Covid-19 hit. Throughout the pandemic, many news stories have said the high rate of restaurant employee turnover was due to staffers’ unemployment benefits surpassing their restaurant earnings. But according to a recent report from Restaurant Dive, the reality is more complicated than that, and a combination of factors are responsible for escalating employee turnover: Among them are a shift of workers into other professions, a shortage of people with cooking skills and increasing reports of abuse on the job. But there are steps restaurant operators can take to help mitigate some of those problems at their own businesses. Restaurant Dive suggests adopting tech tools like on-demand pay apps, which tend to offer more flexibility on pay schedules. Further, it advises operators to be clear in job postings about wages, schedules, benefits, room for advancement, and incentives such as employee referral bonuses. Overall, put yourself in the shoes of a potential employee, who wants to work in a safe environment, understand their responsibilities on the job, be paid on time for shifts completed, and be granted some flexibility if and when their personal lives require it.
How to Maximize Your Menu with Less
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