Just a while ago, restaurants were having a hard time getting orders, since hardly anyone was allowed to sit down in a dining room.
In the wake of coronavirus loosening, and new economic opportunities tied to vaccination, restaurants are actually having quite a hard time staffing up to meet the higher demand that they are now seeing from customers.
The Restaurant Labor Shortage
Some of this profound labor shortage that restaurant owners are seeing has to do with people leaving their old jobs for new careers. The coronavirus was a massive shakeup that convinced many workers they could do better. Others are simply taking unemployment and using the opportunity to take a “sabbatical” from their chosen career paths. Workers who have felt stressed at work for a long time are rejoicing over what the covid stimulus has brought them, but the small businesses that need labor are not.
Highly talented chefs are also in demand. There are few of these individuals to go around, and restaurants that want to compete need to up the ante with bonuses and other incentives. It can be hard to reconfigure the business budget to accommodate this, but for many restaurants, it’s a necessary part of improving outcomes for diners.
Supply Chain Issues
At the same time, restaurants are having a hard time sourcing all of the food ingredients and supplies they need to ramp up for greater customer volumes. Experts recommending food costs of around 30-35% understand that inflation or spiking prices may affect this equation, and urge restaurants to save wherever possible.
Essentially, restaurants are being blindsided by the rush of customers coming back as vaccines have led the CDC to revise guidelines.
For example, most restaurants no longer require customers to wear masks, although many servers and other employees are still wearing them. People who bridled at the original coronavirus restrictions see this as a green-light free-for-all to get back in the game and pile into restaurants and food service businesses in ways that might make the workers uncomfortable.
Some restaurants that are still dealing with reduced capacity are also finding customers frustrated by wait times.
Restaurant owners and managers dealing with all of these moving parts are feeling stressed out. However, there are some ways to streamline operations, save on labor and food costs, and make your kitchen more agile. Check out all of our innovative food service and restaurant equipment that feature cutting-edge technology for chefs, by chefs.