In the Hospitality Industry, one of the industries that’s facing labour shortage concerns is the Restaurant Industry. It may be a surprise to you with over one million people employed by restaurants and mobile food service. But due to huge economic shifts in the market and the Hospitality Industry, like the Coronavirus pandemic, labour shortage is still a huge problem that restaurant business owners have to face.
Labour shortage is one of the dark horsemen in both the Hospitality Industry and the Restaurant Industry. Establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and takeaways are having problems in hiring additional restaurant staff due to low-wage work, plus the threat of exposure due to this pandemic.
Practices such as providing creative recruitment, thorough training, and competitive benefits to your staff and employees might be effective, but keep in mind it is important to address the issue properly to ensure long term success for your restaurant business.
Let’s start to uncover what are the main reasons for restaurant labour shortage, and what are the best practices to deal with it. This article also included important details to know about the concern of labour shortage in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry.
WHAT IS LABOUR SHORTAGE?
Labour shortage in general means that there are more vacant jobs than the employees out of work. This phenomenon mainly affects businesses that run by skilled people, low-wage, and entry level workers, establishments such as hotels and restaurants are some of the known businesses that meet the criteria.
And though exposure within the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry is considered a valuable experience, minimum wage is just enough (if not enough) to keep up with daily expenses of the staff. Another factor that heavily impacts the whole industry is that it requires long hours of service which is not appealing to young workers.
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CAUSES OF LABOUR SHORTAGE?
As mentioned in the introduction, it is better to take the challenge of labour shortage head on in order to enjoy long term success. And in order to do that, it is important to know what are the possible causes of labour shortage and identify if it applies to your own takeaway and restaurant business. Here are the major possible causes of labour shortage within the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry.
THE INDUSTRY IS OPERATED BY AGEING WORKFORCE
The third of Hospitality and Restaurant Industry experts are reaching retirement by 2024, plus some that were forced into retirement during the early lockdown period, it is no wonder that the industry is having a hard time to recover from labour shortage concerns. This just shows that the industry needs to start training and developing young and raw talents that would continue to support the increasing demands for workforce.
THE YOUNG GENERATION HAVE DIFFERENT GOALS
The population who belong to the Millennial and Generation Z are not attracted with the setup of the service industry. Long working hours, work during the weekend, dealing with lots of demands and shouting, and minimum wage increases the dislike of today’s generation in the Hospitality Industry.
This is also the main reason why the workforce in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry is considered ageing, they are having a hard time to convince the younger generation to establish a career in the industry because of its workflow setup.
THE INACCURATE PROMOTION OF OPPORTUNITIES
The workload in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry are often promoted as low paid and low skilled, when in fact it holds a huge amount of diverse range of opportunities. People who are not well informed, especially those who are just starting their careers might get discouraged by this type of information thus resulting in a labour shortage.
THE CONFUSING JOB EXPECTATIONS
As a restaurant business owner, it is your responsibility to provide clear job expectations and descriptions upon recruitment, but this doesn’t happen as expected. Due to the fast paced and demanding environment of restaurants and takeaways, there are times that restaurant staff are asked to do something out of their job coverage.
This instance often causes frustration and stress on their end, which leads to them leaving their position even though they have a contract on going, leading to labour shortage because establishments such as restaurants don’t have enough time to look for new staff.
THE WRONG HANDLING OF STAFF SCHEDULE
Since dealing with the daily complexities of restaurant operation is tiring, there are times that you mishandle your restaurant staff’s schedule. Even though you’re supposed to have sufficient labour for a shift, mishandling staff schedules can lead you to deal with labour shortage.
Make sure to get a proper tool for your staffing tasks. Your POS or EPOS system should have basic functions for staff schedules.
BEST PRACTICES IN HANDLING LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR YOUR RESTAURANT
Here are some of the best practices you may start in order to handle and prevent labour shortage for your restaurant and takeaway business.
- Start With Recruitment Process
In order to establish a healthy working environment and culture for your restaurant staff and employees, you have to be creative with your recruitment process. This is important because it increases the possibility of staff retention leading to prevention of labour shortage for your restaurant business.
- Trim Down Unnecessary Tasks
There’s no such thing as an unnecessary task, but there are tasks that can be automated and there are restaurant technologies available to assist you with it. Your staff are working for long hours, giving them the proper tools to be effective and efficient by taking admin tasks such as inventory and reservations done through your restaurant tools is one way to show them you take care of them.
If your staff feel like they can focus on the tasks that they are trained to do, they will be more fulfilled and productive in their job, increasing the retention rate as well to prevent labour shortage in your organization.
- Take The Staff Schedule Seriously
It may appear that arranging your staff schedules is just an additional task for you, but keep in mind when done right, it affects the effectiveness and efficiency of the whole restaurant staff. No matter what season it is, if you put enough staff to a specific shift and place them according to their skills and training, there will be less stress and the working environment would be toxic-free (within your team at least).
- Keep Reaching Out
Promoting inside with your current staff may be a good option, but there’s no harm in reaching out to other competent people who bear the same skills that you want. And taking into account that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic where labour shortage is getting evident, you can’t just rely on your old hiring process.
Continue to post to online job boards and ads on social media to reach a wider pool of candidates. You may also try to launch an employee referral program to encourage your existing staff to reach out on their end.
- Try A Different Managerial Style
If you’ve done everything mentioned above, maybe it’s now time to change up your managerial style and try out a different business model. A tweak into your current operation might be the missing piece of the puzzle to solve your concerns with labour shortage. And of course, it is better to talk to your team on what approach will be better for the whole restaurant.
CAN YOU HANDLE IT? OF COURSE YOU CAN.
Labour shortage are just some of the issues you’ll face as a restaurant business owner. And just like any other problems, including managing online food ordering systems, in order to continue thriving in this industry, you must address it head on and prevent it from occurring again.
Though the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry is challenged by this pandemic outbreak, there are now restaurant and takeaway partners that will help you get through these challenging times.