Restaurant hiring is really hard, and the staffing problems are affecting everyone. In spite of increases to salaries, it is still nearly impossible to find and keep a full staff. According to a recent survey from the National Restaurant Association, 2 in 3 restaurants are understaffed. Of those, 1 in 5 are more than 20% below necessary levels. This means restaurants are operating well below capacity due to staffing problems. Fewer orders are taken, fewer tables are filled, and revenue is down.
This, of course, makes current employees more important than ever. These are the people holding down the fort, working long hours, and struggling to meet demand. They need to be reliable, competent, and prepared to work hard for their entire shift.
Here are four tips for how to handle the staffing situation:
- Compensate reliable employees well.
This doesn’t necessarily mean paying employees very high wages. While some may like that, compensation is a culmination of many factors, such as wages, tips, benefits, perks, general working conditions, and atmosphere. Your restaurant has to genuinely be a pleasant place to work, not only to attract future employees, but also to keep current employees satisfied and happy with their current jobs,
- Ensure adequate training is provided.
Setting employees up for success is a great stride toward a long-lasting, reliable employee. Whether you have a seasoned professional or an entry-level worker coming on board, you need to take steps to make sure they understand how to use all equipment, rules for interaction with customers, and other company procedures.
- Make sure they have everything needed to succeed.
Sometimes the kitchen requires additional appliances, extra food, or a slightly changed menu in order to keep up with demand and make customers happy, and that’s a crucial business decision. If employees feel empowered to do what they do best instead of making excuses for why they can’t fully satisfy customer requests, they are happier.
- Use alternatives to employees wherever possible.
The few employees restaurants already have are valuable assets. This means they shouldn’t be doing menial tasks that could be performed by technology or automations. You want your staff focused on the in-person guests. In this light, using software for some of your restaurant management (such as food inventory and scheduling) is a no-brainer.
Reachify is perfect for restaurants of all shapes and sizes. Automating phone calls not only helps get callers to where they want to go much faster, it also gets employees off unnecessary phone calls and back to the guests in the establishment. We’d be happy to show you how Reachify can help you increase online orders, reduce time spent on the phone, and increase top-line revenue in one simple solution that we know you’re going to love. Get a quote here.