5 tips! How to ease staff shortage in the restaurant industry

Restaurants come and go. That's not new. Staff shortage neither, but in the post-pandemic era, the problem has gotten so severe that restaurants have to shut down for good because they can't attract and keep enough employees.

Are you also struggling to keep your business going?
Here are 5 tips and tricks to ease staff shortage while waiting for better recruitment days.

Image 840X840 Urban

Where are the workers?

Retaining and recruiting staff in the restaurant business was a widely spread problem before the pandemic. According to data and public opinion company YouGov and software company Deputy's Retaining Britain’s Hospitality Workers report, the hospitality industry in the UK had an employee turnover rate of 30% (meaning 3 out of 10 workers leave their role within a year). In the US it was even worse, with a staff turnover of 73,8% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unfortunately, the situation has worsened after the pandemic.

Why is recruitment so hard these days?
Really, it is not rocket science why there are not enough workers to employ. After the Corona pandemic, almost every fifth employee has turned their back on an already strained business. When the demand for good food and new tasty experiences is now back on the guests are back, but the restaurant staff is not. 

5 tips to ease staff shortage

1. Minimize your menu
A large menu requires more labor to handle, prep and cook. Review your menu and try to slim it down until you are no longer understaffed. Keep the most popular dishes and ditch the items that are not ordered so often and the ones that require extensive prepping and cooking. Consider other ways to optimize your menu. Maybe there are good pre-cooked soups or sauces you can use temporarily until the staffing situation is under control.   

2. Cross-train your staff
High turnover of employees or even the occasional sick day can really turn the work environment in a kitchen chaotic. Rotation is an excellent way to avoid this, as it ensures that more staff have similar or the same skills, and can easily cover for each other in case of sick leave, transitions, or vacancies. It also makes your employees’ day more varied and fun, making them more likely to stick around for longer.

3. Reduce capacity and hours
Even if it's anyone’s least favorite and perhaps last resort, it might be worth considering limiting the number of tables and seats in your restaurant – even if just for a short time. Close or remove the less desirable ones and keep your most popular tables open. Also, consider the number of hours of your operation. Identify the most profitable hours and keep these open. That way you will manage to keep the service at a high level even though you are understaffed and keep customer complaints at a minimum. 

Robot waiter

4. Technology, automation and digitization

Using the right technology could be salvation for your staff, the environment, and also your wallet. Some examples of restaurant automation are staff scheduling software, online ordering, and reservation software.

Robotic replacement
OMO Teppan & Kitchen in Canada has gone as far as investing in a robot to help serve their Japanese food.
- It takes over (for) half a person so we consider the salary of half a person daily. It's financially feasible, says Owner Eric Sit according to Global News.

Technology to ease staff shortage
Investing in robotic systems might feel futuristic and a little bit over the top for many restaurants but there are other helpful technologies to consider. For example, various types of commercial dishwashers for all your dirty pots, pans, and dishes. With some of these tools in place, you and your staff can focus on cooking and serving great food and give your guest the attention they deserve.

5. Make your staff your first and utmost priority
Competing with a higher wage is of course one way to go around the problem. It is for sure a way to attract and keep workers but not always doable for financial reasons. Either way, when faced with a staff shortage it is crucial to keep the small team you still have left. This is a subject we've written a separate article about with useful tips gathered during our years in the industry. Find our article on the subject here.


Build a better working environment with Granuldisk

Creating the best possible working environment will make your staff feel prioritized, happy, and looked after - and more inclined to stay with you for longer. If you're curious about how Granule Technology could integrate and benefit your pot washing operation, contact us to organize a demo - via live stream, or in a kitchen or showroom near you.

Book your demo today!

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