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Food 85% of small restaurants across the US say it's still very difficult to find staff, according to a new survey

19:06  15 september  2021
19:06  15 september  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

Nearly 40% of restaurant owners couldn't pay rent in June, new survey finds

  Nearly 40% of restaurant owners couldn't pay rent in June, new survey finds Many restaurant owners blame the ongoing labor shortage, which has left them short-staffed as dining rooms reopen.Alignable is an online network for small businesses with 6.5 million members, and it releases monthly statistics based on surveys. The June numbers are an improvement for restaurants, with 49 percent unable to pay rent in May, but the industry still lags behind small businesses as a whole. 37 percent of all small businesses were unable to pay rent in June, for example.

a man standing in front of a building: Restaurants across the US are still struggling to hire enough staff. Noam Galai/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider Restaurants across the US are still struggling to hire enough staff. Noam Galai/Getty Images
  • Small businesses are still struggling to hire in the labor shortage, with restaurants suffering most, per a new poll.
  • In the Alignable poll, 85% of restaurant owners said it was very difficult to find staff.
  • Employment in the restaurant industry dropped in August for the first time since April 2020.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The vast majority of small restaurants across the US are still struggling to hire enough staff, according to a new survey.

Alignable, a small business network, polled 4,079 small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners between August 15 to September 13. In the poll, shared with Insider, 85% of the 803 restaurant owners that responded said it was "very difficult" to find staff.

A restaurant owner says raising wages to $15 would solve her labor shortage - but she'd have to hike menu prices. Instead, she's turning to automated drive-thrus.

  A restaurant owner says raising wages to $15 would solve her labor shortage - but she'd have to hike menu prices. Instead, she's turning to automated drive-thrus. Shana Gonzales, a Checkers franchisee, said she was struggling to attract staff. Rather than boost wages, she's turning to automation.Shana Gonzales, a Checkers franchisee who owns four restaurants in the Atlanta area, told The New York Times that she wanted to hire more workers, but that it wouldn't be profitable. She said raising wages to $14 or $15 would allow her to fully staff her restaurants - but that she'd have to raise menu prices, which could deter customers.

This was an increase from last month's survey, where 80% said they were finding it very difficult to find help.

Only 3% of restaurant owners said in the most recent poll that they weren't struggling to hire.

The survey also covered owners from other industries. The poll showed that restaurants were the SMBs worst hit by the labor shortage, followed by manufacturing, automotive, and construction businesses.

Preliminary US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures from early September appear to support the findings.

The number of people working in restaurants, cafes, and bars across the US fell by 42,000 in August, per the BLS data. This was the restaurant's industry first drop in employment since April 2020, and the largest drop in employment across all non-farm industries in August.

Food prices could spike by 14% before October, a supermarket chain owner says. It's already forcing restaurants to push up their prices.

  Food prices could spike by 14% before October, a supermarket chain owner says. It's already forcing restaurants to push up their prices. As food prices rise, some restaurants are passing their extra costs to consumers by charging more for menu items."We're seeing anywhere from 10% to 14% by October 1," Catsimatidis told Fox Business Monday.

Overall, two in three SMB owners Alignable polled said it was very hard to find help - up from 50% in its poll that ran to July. Only 6% of respondents to the most recent poll said it was easy to hire.

Just under half of respondents (47%) said they'd raised wages to recruit new workers or retain existing ones, while 23% said they'd reduced operating hours to cut payroll expenses.

A combination of higher wages and a lack of workers have meant that some restaurants across the US have closed their dining rooms or slashed their opening hours.

One in eight (12.3%) respondents to Alignable's survey said they'd turned to gig-worker apps to plug their labor shortages.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash are suing NYC for capping the fees they can charge restaurants .
Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash said the commissions cap could reduce earnings for drivers and force them to raise prices for customers.The companies filed the suit in federal court on Thursday, and sought an injunction that would prevent the city from enforcing the legislation, alongside unspecified monetary damages, The Wall Street Journal first reported.

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This is interesting!