Posts Tagged ‘hiring strategies’

A Look at Restaurant Employment in 2014

May 9, 2014

The restaurant industry lost a lot of jobs when the recession hit. It took until September of 2011 for it to surpass its pre-recession peak. It now stands above the previous high at nearly 900,000 jobs, or 9.2% of the U.S. job market. Job growth in the industry is expected to remain positive, and it could prove more difficult for employers to hire new staff in 2014 than it has been in the last few years, thanks to an increasingly competitive job market.

The Restaurant Industry Contributes Significantly to Job Growth

The U.S. added a total of 2.2 million new jobs in 2013. Over 306,000 of these jobs were in foodservice. That figures out to be about 1 in every 7 new jobs being attributed to the foodservice industry. In March of this year alone, the restaurant industry has added a total of 30,000 more jobs to the economy. Some critics, however, say that this contribution isn’t as significant as it would appear due to the fact that foodservice workers tend to make much lower wages than the average U.S. worker. Nonetheless, the restaurant industry is expected to continue adding jobs to the economy in 2014, though the competition to hire good employees may get stiffer.

Turnover Rates Are Higher; More Difficulty in Hiring Waitstaff Expected

While the overall U.S. unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low of 6.7 percent last December, the turnover rates for all segments rose. Some are calling the dropping unemployment rates, increased turnover and abundance of new companies looking to hire, a recipe for recruiting difficulty. The labor market is nowhere near as flooded as it was a few years ago, and restaurant operators should be aware that it may be increasingly difficult to hire for some time to come.

Restaurant Operators Should Invest in Employees They Want to Keep

Knowing the possibility that hiring could become more difficult, it makes sense for restaurant operators to put measures in place to retain the good employees they already have. Whether this means more benefits, higher pay or better perks, restaurants around the country are recognizing the value of investing in an already trained and tested staff member over the amount of effort and money required to attract and train someone new.

Better pay and benefits isn’t the only thing that keeps good employees around, either. In fact, an employee’s decision to stay with your restaurant business often has more to do with the work environment they experience with you than any other factor. Creating a supportive, fun, team-oriented environment is critical to the success of any business; but especially so for restaurants.

Your waitstaff is the representation of your business to the public and your staff is the oil that makes the gears go around. Taking the time to listen to employee feedback and concerns, giving regular positive feedback on the work an employee does and fostering an environment of openness and support will go a long way toward demonstrating your commitment and interest in the well-being of your employees. Sincere concern fosters loyalty in your staff that shines through in their work with your customers.

The restaurant industry is expected to continue its steady upward growth, and operators should be aware of an increasingly competitive hiring environment in 2014 and beyond. In the face of such difficulty, it makes a lot of sense for restaurant operators to do what they can to retain and foster the exceptional people already in their employ.