for Employee Retention in 2023
The past few
years have presented numerous challenges to business owners, including an
ongoing labor shortage. The hospitality industry certainly isn't immune to the
struggles of employee retention.
“For a long
time, the hospitality industry has relied on having an abundance of applicants
even if some of those were not well-qualified. Now we see a problem with both
the quality and quantity," said Amanda Belarmino, professor with University
of Nevada, Las Vegas' College of Hospitality, in an interview with The
everyone talking about competitive pay, positive working environments, and
flexible schedules to attract and maintain labor, the fact that restaurants
aren't able to find workers is far too real for most operators today," said Sam
Zietz, CEO of GRUBBRR.
boomers have left the workforce, birth rates are declining, and tight
immigration policies have (left) a limited labor pool of candidates, leaving
restaurant owners searching for answers."
everyone is struggling with employee retention, it begs the question, what can
be done to improve workplace atmospheres? Recently, the National Association
of Food Equipment Manufacturers had a conference that addressed this issue.
Here are a few tips that the conference provided, according to Restaurant
Think of new
and creative ways to find employees instead of sticking to help-wanted ads. One
example was a company that joined a Facebook group that included people
they'd like to work for them.
want to feel like humans, not just workers. Treat your current employees with
respect and find out what they need to be successful in order to retain them.
Perhaps they want more flexibility in their hours or help with childcare,
Restaurant Business noted.
certain tasks that can be outsourced through technology. Find out if there are
any that are giving employees headaches or creating bottlenecks and take that
burden away. Zietz suggests using self-ordering technology like kiosks and
online ordering to help restaurants run with a smaller staff. This can benefit
employees in multiple ways, Zietz said, including increased tips that can be
split between fewer team members.
offered additional tips to The Food Institute. She suggests looking at
marketing and doing a better job of communicating your company's specific
benefits in order to differentiate yourself from the competition.
professor also suggested considering retirees who are looking to supplement
would encourage employers to look beyond their own surveys for satisfaction and
examine online review sites like Indeed and Glassdoor," Belarmino said,
“to find out if there are issues they're not addressing that could help to
retain their team members. Responses to these reviews also demonstrate to job
seekers that this is a desirable workplace." Food
Costs Continue to Climb
may have to start rethinking breakfast as eggs flirt with $5 a dozen and with
orange juice prices set to jump because of a poor Florida citrus crop and low
cold storage stocks.
“Even at $5
per dozen (eggs) are a very cheap source of nutrient rich fat and protein. If
anything changes at all, backyard chickens will become even more popular," Kam
Talebi of the Butchers Tale catering company told The Food
New York Times recently reported demand for chicks that will grow into
egg-laying hens has skyrocketed.
wants the heavy layers," Ginger Stevenson, director of marketing at Murray
McMurray Hatchery in Iowa, told the Times. Hatcheries are having a
hard time keeping up and running low on some breeds, partly because they
haven't expanded in three years due to the pandemic and partly because they're
having trouble hiring workers.
Costs, Bird Flu Key Factors
“One of our
biggest cost increases is continuing to raise wages to compete," Jeff Smith,
one of the owners of Cackle Hatchery in Missouri, told the Times.
“I don't see the inflation going anywhere."
agriculture department reported earlier this month that egg prices had fallen
to about $3.40 a dozen. The cost doubled between 2021 and 2022. The huge
increase was due in large part to the avian influenza epidemic, which led to
the slaughter of more than 40 million egg-laying hens across the country.
chickens is not easy and there's an initial upfront investment for the chicks
themselves, and construction materials for a coop. Then there are the predators.
breakfast table, restaurants and bakeries also are feeling the impact and
looking for ways around it: sourcing ingredients locally and changing recipes.
“If eggs are
prohibitively expensive and would drive up costs which would inevitably have to
be passed down to the consumers, then it's vital to pivot from the current menu
and explore other options, Los Angeles registered dietitian nutritionist Yelena
Wheeler told The Food Institute.
pushing the typical eggs and bacon breakfast, maybe look at mixtures of
potatoes, vegetables and cheese. For instance, a breakfast veggie quesadilla or
fruit and yogurt parfait. Exploring other cultural breakfast staples that don't
include eggs can also be helpful."
Marin, CEO of Vegan
Hospitality, said eggs can be left out of just about any recipe, either by
adding baking powder or egg substitutes.
with pancakes, waffles, and many breads. ... The great news is, guests will love
their meal just as much, and you may even choose to keep these new recipes on
your menu. You'll save costs while opening up your menu to vegans and those
with food sensitivities, as eggs are among the top eight allergens," Marin
comes to washing down that alternative breakfast, consumers may need to look
for an alternative to orange juice. The USDA's revised forecast said the
Florida orange crop is likely to be the smallest since the 1935-36 season.
projected harvest of 16 million boxes is the result of Hurricane Ian and a
winter freeze. Groves also are suffering from two decades of greening disease,
which produces fruits that are green, misshapen and bitter, making them
unsuitable for sale as fresh fruit or for juice. Infected trees generally die
within a few years.
from concentrate recently hit $6.27 a gallon; fresh-squeezed juice prices hit
$10, The Wall Street Journal reported. Cold storage stocks of
concentrate are extremely low. Food
CAVA & Chicken Salad Chick Earn Rave Reviews
persists, it becomes more challenging for restaurants to lure customers.
Nevertheless, new research shows a few chains are making strides when it comes
to winning guests.
Centric, a data
analytics and reputation management company, recently identified which
restaurant chains are winning customers the most and found that Chicken
Salad Chick, Tazikis, and CAVA are earning especially
positive reviews these days.
telling restaurant chains what is most important to them via their reviews –
and not all brands are paying attention," Adam Leff, Merchant Centric's
chief strategy officer, told The Food Institute. “Those that are
listening and taking heed are getting high (customer-review) scores within
their segments, growing sales and adding units."
Centric used proprietary Theme Performance Scores – which represent the ratio
of positive mentions in online reviews for a theme (such as price/value, or
loyalty/referral) relative to the negative mentions of the same theme – to
calculate customer sentiment. A TPS score of 1.0 indicates that praise and
complaints are equal, while TPS scores of 1.1+ indicate more praise than
look at chains that earned some of the highest TPS scores in the
loyalty/referral category, per Merchant Centric:
it's imperative for restaurant chains to analyze customer reviews and leverage
that feedback to improve their businesses.
talk about their brand promise, but how do they quantify the efficacy of that
brand promise?" Leff asked.
need to listen to what guests are saying in their reviews so they can measure
and understand if they're delivering on their brand promise and providing value
over competitors. ... These are insights that will drive success when
Salad Chick, which has grown to 286 locations since being founded in 2008, has
earned praise predominantly for its customer service. The Alabama-based chain
earned a 4.4 loyalty/referral score and a 1.8 in the price/value category.
another Alabama-based fast-casual chain with 90 locations in 16 states, earned
an exemplary score (2.0) in terms of price/value.
fast-casual chains highlighted by Merchant Centric's research, however, CAVA
especially seems to be enjoying a moment of late. CAVA garnered positive
reviews for its relatively healthy, Mediterranean-inspired menu featuring
protein items ranging from chicken to falafel to meatballs, with a variety of
greens, as well.
performance scores, Leff said, “tell us guests feel CAVA is so well-priced for
what guests receive that guests are, in turn, expressing high degrees of
loyalty and referral. They also have high TPS scores for selection/availability
(6.2), food (5.1), and quality/flavor (3.9), thus indicating that guests are
very happy with the quality, selection, and general food offerings provided by
the brand." Food