The Daily Rail: The Restaurant Labor Market is Tight

GUESTS: Simple Math: Online Reservations Means More Cash

It’s rare for a restaurant to have no trouble keeping up in such a competitive market. Caring for guests has never been so important, especially for small restaurants that rely mainly on loyal repeat-clients. Every lost customer can be calculated into the restaurant’s losses. 

How a guest chooses your restaurant or decides to come back varies, but it’s widely agreed: ease and convenience are important. The answer to these problems is pretty simple — an online reservation system.


Facebook What? 

According to a survey conducted by The Diffusion Group, nearly three in four adult Facebook users in the U.S. haven’t used Facebook Watch yet. More importantly though, 50% of the respondents have never even heard of Facebook’s video platform despite its presence on the social network’s navigation bar. Learn about what sports Facebook Watch airs here.

Infographic: Facebook What? Facebook Watch! | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Northward Passage [SONG]

The Venta Maersk is sailing from Busan, South Korea and is expected to pass through the Bering strait at the beginning of September before arriving in St. Petersburg at the end of the month. The following infographic provides an overview of the Arctic and Suez Canal routes, using a journey between Hamburg and Shanghai as an example. If the Northern Sea Route does become viable in the future, ships making that specific trip would travel about 14,000 kilometers, sparing at least two weeks over the 20,000-kilometer long southern route through the Suez Canal and Straits of Malacca.

Infographic: Global Warming Opens Arctic Passage For Container Ships | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Blockbuster Video Beer

Blockbuster Video is dead, right? Apparently not. The “mostly dead” company has one last hold out in Alaska. And the best part? It’s getting its own craft beer. Called The Last Blockbuster (sounds like a title of a cheesy action flick), the craft beer will taste like late fees and date nights with an aroma of that VHS rewind smell. Kidding. It’s described as having a “light body, sooth finish and hints of nostalgia” with “nuances of red licorice.”


Why it matters to you: We examine the issues with the labor market within our industry.

Anyone behind the reins of a restaurant or bar knows the staffing struggle in recent years. The fact that more than two-thirds (67%) of restaurant operators have cited staffing issues as a problem shows us something needs to change. Rising costs in labor combined with more competition is a tough equation to try to find and keep staff. We will focus on back of house as it is the largest hurdle to overcome and 59% of operators said they were the toughest positions to recruit and retain. This should come as no surprise though because kitchen staff has remained at relatively low hourly rate historically and it wasn’t until recently that some of them were tipped-out at the end of shifts (though that still is not common). 

One method we see with some potential is the adding of a small percentage to your menu prices to pay the BoH a little more. In a staffing climate like ours, every little cent can mean the difference between keeping and losing your team. Sure, patrons may not be excited but there are ways of implementing a surcharge and not alienate your guests. Aiming for staff retention and avoiding turnover is always a prime goal as an operator. Ensuring your team is paid properly, isn’t being harassed in the workplace, and has the possibility for a promotion when deserved are just a small (but solid) start towards getting back on track.

[Source: Nation's Restaurant News]



Why it matters to you: A chef in Colorado discusses the way to start restaurants and treat staff in 2018 and it isn’t like it used to be. Thankfully.

We are all aware of how competitive the market is, whether it be just getting people through your doors or keeping staff within your doors. It can all seem like a bit of a struggle. Chef Kelly Whitaker has been examining the way she sees it possible to open restaurants in 2018 and it is a bit different than it used to be. She talks about looking at aspects of a restaurant that are generally overlooked -- like wage equality and food waste– then moves on to the more traditional details we all deal with in the beginning. Carefully considering these details ensures minimal profits are lost due to food waste and that your employees are all paid what they should be, leading to a much happier staff and lower turnover. 

Chef Whitaker is in a bit of a unique position though, as Colorado just began offering the ability to waive the tip-credit, but that also means employees must be paid the higher of the two minimum wages ($7.18 an hour vs $10.20). Though they can still accept tips, Whitaker shares tips between all of her employees, so that it is a much fairer workplace and putting BoH and FoH staff on the same level. We are very much here for this new model. Too long have restaurants treated their team unfairly based on where they are working, but the climate of our industry demands a change and this may be it.

[Source: Westword]