The Perfect Storm in Hiring

The restaurant and bar industry is currently facing a myriad of challenges in terms of staffing. As the post-pandemic disruption to the service industry continues to rage on, establishments find themselves grappling with a new reality. With the shift to online ordering, mobile ordering, and other digital systems, the demands on restaurant and bar staff have significantly changed.

Yet, in spite of these changes, businesses have been hit with a severe shortage of workers. This shortage can be attributed to various factors such as health concerns, uncertainty, and even a change in career paths for many.

The Pivotal Role of Restaurant Staff

Restaurant staff have always played a crucial role in the success of the business. They are the face of the establishment, providing customers with a memorable dining experience. However, as establishments expand their services to cater to the digital age, the role of the restaurant staff is becoming even more critical.

With the increase in online and mobile ordering, wait staff are now expected to juggle multiple tasks, including managing orders, preparing take-out packages, and delivering impeccable service. The increased demands on staff underscore the importance of hiring the right people.

Bar Staff Shortages

The bar industry is facing its own set of challenges in terms of hiring. Many seasoned bartenders have either switched careers or opted for more stable employment options in the wake of the pandemic. With fluctuating opening hours and the potential for sudden closures, bar staff have become a scarce resource.

Bars are now competing with each other for the limited talent pool available. They have been forced to offer higher wages, flexible work schedules, and additional benefits to attract and retain the right candidates.

Online Ordering – A Double-Edged Sword

Online ordering has become a lifeline for many restaurants during the pandemic, providing them with a source of revenue amidst the various restrictions. However, this shift to digital ordering has also posed new challenges for restaurant staff.

Order volumes can fluctuate wildly, putting added pressure on the staff to manage the increased workload. This means that even with fewer dine-in customers, the staff is still stretched thin trying to accommodate both in-person and online orders.

Mobile Ordering – A New Frontier

Mobile ordering is another avenue that has grown exponentially in recent times. With the convenience of ordering and paying from one’s phone, customers are increasingly turning to this option. This, in turn, has put further demands on the restaurant staff.

They are now tasked with coordinating the flow of orders from multiple channels, ensuring timely delivery, and providing the same level of service that customers expect. It’s a demanding role that requires a certain skill set and dedication.

Reimagining Hiring Practices

It is evident that the restaurant and bar industry needs to revamp its hiring practices to address the current challenges. This includes creating detailed job descriptions that outline the new expectations and responsibilities of the staff. Additionally, establishments need to consider offering competitive wages and benefits to attract talent.

Employers should also invest in training programs to equip their staff with the skills required to handle the increased workload and demands of online and mobile ordering.

Retention Strategies

Beyond hiring, retention is key. With the competition for talent intensifying, it’s important to focus on keeping the existing staff happy and motivated. This can include offering regular training sessions, opportunities for career advancement, and fostering a positive work environment.

Taking the time to recognize the efforts of the staff and showing appreciation can go a long way in building loyalty and boosting morale.

Embracing the Future

The restaurant and bar industry is in a state of flux, and it’s imperative for businesses to adapt to the changes. Embracing technology, reimagining hiring practices, and focusing on retention strategies are all steps in the right direction.

The path ahead is filled with challenges, but by navigating through them with a proactive and adaptive mindset, the industry can weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.

Conclusion: Rising to the Challenge

The staffing difficulties faced by the restaurant and bar industry are significant but not insurmountable. By embracing technology, reimagining hiring practices, and focusing on retention, establishments can rise to the challenge.

The industry is poised for a transformation, and those who adapt and evolve will be the ones who thrive in the new landscape.