Since the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants have found it harder and harder to keep good workers on staff. With the current re-opening of restaurants nationwide and huge pent up demand for in restaurant dining, there is an urgent race to find and keep servers and restaurant brands are stepping up the offers to bring them back and implementing employee retention ideas such as competitive benefits packages that can help ensure the retention of valuable employees.
Between February and November of 2020, the U.S. saw a drop of 4.1 million people in the workforce. Half of those are between the ages of 16 and 34, the age range of the majority of restaurant staff. Joblist has also reported nearly 30% of hospitality workers are considering bolting for other sectors after spending months unemployed or mired in uncertainty. This drop in employment paired with increased unemployment options has made it difficult to hire or retain good staff.
In order to combat this, many restaurants have begun to introduce better benefit and pay options in order to work towards keeping a more stable team. Here are a few examples of restaurants that are expanding their benefits:
- Olive Garden has increased their hourly staff’s pay to at least $10 an hour, moving up to a minimum of $12 by 2023.
- Whataburger is promoting all of it’s general managers to “operating partners” with minimum salaries of $100,000.
- Taco Bell has expanded its PTO and maternity / paternity leave so that managers receive up to 12 weeks paid leave when having as new child, as well as 4 weeks of paid vacation.
- Chipotle is upgrading its debt-free degree program to include Agriculture, Culinary and Hospitality after 120 days of employment.
Beyond expanding benefits for staff, restaurants are rapidly shifting towards using technology, such as Ziosk, to fill in their labor gaps. Whether the need is line busting, increasing server efficiency by reducing steps of service, decreasing table turn times, or anything in-between, technology on the table and in your servers’ hands will help counterbalance any labor issues.