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Food Independent restaurants are being crushed by the labor shortage. They're raising prices, cutting opening hours, and even closing down for good.

13:16  16 october  2021
13:16  16 october  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

The labor shortage has created a 'bidding war' for staff as restaurants that are desperate for workers hike wages, says a burger chain owner

  The labor shortage has created a 'bidding war' for staff as restaurants that are desperate for workers hike wages, says a burger chain owner The owner of Farm Burger said some of its restaurants are closing one day a week to give staff a break as diners return in droves. See more stories on Insider's business page. The huge shortage of restaurant workers has led to a "bidding war" for staff that's driving wages up across the industry, the owner of a burger chain said. "Your restaurant neighbor next door might offer $1 more, then you go back and offer $1 more over that to just retain your people," George Frangos, owner and president of Farm Burger, told Insider.

Seventy-four percent of independent restaurant owners say it's harder to find employees than it was pre-pandemic, according to a survey conducted by small-business network Alignable in the first half of July. As a result, restaurants top the list of small business sectors that are still in the midst of the labor shortage Some businesses have been forced to reduce their hours because they can't get enough staff, and half said that they struggled to pay rent in May. After restaurants , the transport sector was the second-worst hit by the current labor shortage , according to Alignable's survey, with two-thirds of

Every year restaurant owners must decide how to handle changing guest preferences, challenges such as the labor shortage , and the ups and downs within the industry. Here is a look at the new and continuing restaurant industry trends expected for 2021 with insight into how they might affect your You can also evaluate options such as OpenTable, Reserve, or even allowing guests to make reservations through Yelp. These companies aren't new, but they were struck by the no-reservations trend and struggled. Now, they ' re coming back into the light. Make it convenient for hungry people to

Staff have been leaving the industry in search of better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Álex Cámara/NurPhoto via Getty Image © Álex Cámara/NurPhoto via Getty Image Staff have been leaving the industry in search of better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Álex Cámara/NurPhoto via Getty Image
  • Independent restaurants are struggling to operate because they can't find enough staff.
  • Owners are slashing opening hours, raising prices, and returning to the kitchens themselves.
  • One said he closed his restaurant after larger companies poached staff with offers of higher wages.

Independent restaurants are being crushed by the labor shortage.

Their desperate owners are returning to the kitchens themselves and say they're working longer hours than ever.

All the Impressive Labor Day Weekend Sales to Scope Out Now

  All the Impressive Labor Day Weekend Sales to Scope Out Now Memory foam mattresses, kitchen gadgets, summer-to-fall styleyou get the idea.You have toiled. You've put in the hours. You managed to actually log on/clock into your workplace, virtual or actual, in the month of August. That? A miracle. They (people of import in or near governmental bodies) probably weren't tossing the word "burnout" into every other sentence when they invented Labor Day in the 19th century, but that doesn't make Labor Day 2021 any less necessary after all of 2021's toiling. Nor have you ever deserved to unnecessarily shop more, hence all the sales.

There is no Labor Shortage . What they ’ re seeing is a shortage of people willing to be exploited for literal poverty pay. I’m not sure if my partner makes More then what child care would cost but the left over wouldn’t be much, not enough to finish the bills. We live in a small place that’s really affordable, we don’t have much for extra things just Netflix and hbo there really isn’t much we could cut to make it work.

Yet there are shortages : high-end Moscow restaurants say they cannot find high-quality marbled beef – the good stuff is being exported at higher prices to China – or octopus from Indonesia, normally brought by container ships. Consumers, even those who have massed huge savings over the past 18 months, are also expected to become more circumspect in their shopping habits after a sharp rise in inflation that the Bank of England forecasts will exceed 4% by the end of the year. A sudden rise in gas bills caused by an international shortage of supply will only push inflation higher still.

They're raising menu prices, cutting opening hours, and offering higher wages and more benefits in a bid to stay open - but for some, the labor shortage has become too much, and they've had to close.

Government data and business-owner polls suggest that the restaurant industry is being hardest hit by the labor shortage.

In a recent poll by Alignable of small and medium-sized business owners, 85% of restaurant owners said it was "very difficult" to find staff. Only 3% said they weren't struggling to hire.

Staff have been leaving the industry in search of better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

While restaurant chains like McDonald's, Starbucks, and Chipotle have been able to hike wages - in many cases to $15 an hour and more - and offer hiring bonuses and education benefits to attract more staff, independent restaurants say this is much harder for them to afford.

Some restaurants are closing dining rooms again, but owners blame staffing shortages, not COVID

  Some restaurants are closing dining rooms again, but owners blame staffing shortages, not COVID McDonald's, Dunkin', Wendy's, Starbucks, and Chick-fil-A have all had to close dining rooms or adjust hours because they didn't have enough workers.McDonald's reminded franchisees of guidelines that would allow them to close dining rooms in areas with high rates of infection, and Chick-fil-A is allowing operators to keep them closed through January for safety, but many dining room closures across the country are actually a direct result of the labor shortage.

‘The crisis of labour across the UK is now so deep that better wages alone will not dig us out of it.’ They slept in their trucks week after week, washed themselves and their clothes by the roadside The pattern is the same in other sectors now suffering acute labour shortages . Harvesting crops has always been tough, dirty work; gangs of workers used to do it for relatively contained hours over short

For the very first time in recorded history, there is an extremely severe shortage of workers in nations all over the planet. Prices in August were up 33% from the same month last year, according to an index compiled by the Shortages are hitting farms, processors and restaurants alike. Everywhere in the world there are alarming labor shortages , and we are being told that this is a crisis that isn’t

Insider spoke to many restaurants across the US who said that they'd raised wages, but that staff still earned less than $15 an hour, minus tips.

In a poll ran by Alignable between September and October, 61% of independent restaurant owners said that they expected large companies to make their hiring process harder in the fourth quarter by offering higher wages they couldn't compete with.


Video: Restaurants Aim to Find Emplpyees (WAPT Jackson)

Alignable CEO Eric Grove said that only 15% of small restaurants told him they'd been able to provide extra benefits to their staff, such as hiring bonuses, college tuition reimbursement, healthcare, flexible work schedules, and paid time off.

"Most of the time, larger restaurants (or companies outside of the restaurant business entirely) are pulling candidates away from smaller restaurants with higher wages and several of those perks," Grove told Insider in an email.

A 46-year-old Italian restaurant in St. Louis said it closed because it couldn't find enough staff. "There's nothing more we can do," its owners said.

  A 46-year-old Italian restaurant in St. Louis said it closed because it couldn't find enough staff. Restaurants have been hit hard by the labor shortage. The owners of Balducci's in St. Louis, Missouri, said they couldn't find enough staff."It's very sad and emotional to let go, but when we can't find enough people to staff the operation, there's nothing more we can do," the owners of Balducci's wrote in a Facebook post Sunday.

The producer price index, which measures inflationary pressures before they reach consumers, jumped 0.5 percent on the month for September, compared to a 0.7 percent gain in August, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The latest surge in wholesale prices is another signal that higher prices for consumers are likely to persist, as supply chain chaos and labor shortages drive up Food costs at the wholesale level rose 13 percent in September from a year ago, while toys rose 6 percent and sporting goods were up 12 percent, raising concerns ahead of the holiday shopping season.

What is an advantage that independent restaurants tend to have over large chain restaurants ? Independents can acquire cash and credit more easily than chains. Which of the following statements about lodging food service is true Food and beverage departments typically can generate required profits on the basis of sales to in-house guests only. Lodging food services often are designed to compete with food and beverage operations outside the hotel Full-service hotels rarely offer in-room food service.

Joseph Devor, owner of Joey's Chicken Shack in Pennsylvania, told Insider he'd raised wages from $9 to between $10 and $12 an hour.

"I think [staff] deserve more," he said. "It's just difficult because we started with very little and we have our bills to pay."

Joey's Chicken Shack isn't alone. Restaurants are facing mounting wages and ingredients costs, which are cutting into their profit margins. Half of the owners of small and medium-sized business restaurants said in an Alignable poll that they couldn't pay their rent in full and on time in September.

To avoid soaring costs, some restaurants are closing earlier or shutting their dining rooms. Robin LaForge decided to shut his restaurant, Cheniere Shack in West Monroe, Louisiana, for two days a week and close it an hour earlier on the days it is open after staffing fell by roughly three-quarters. Mirna McCormack, who owns Korner Cafe in Lewisville, Texas, is closing it around six hours earlier most days.

Some restaurants are also charging customers more. Devor, for example, has put prices up every month since May because of growing labor and ingredients costs.

McDonald's says service is slower and some of its restaurants are closing earlier because of the labor shortage

  McDonald's says service is slower and some of its restaurants are closing earlier because of the labor shortage McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski predicted the chain would remain short-staffed well into next year.Some of its restaurants have been cutting their hours during the US labor shortage, too, its CEO Chris Kempczinski said Wednesday, adding that he expected to remain short-staffed well into 2022.

He said he wanted to raise prices even further, but was worried that it would deter customers. McCormack similarly said she thought her cafe's retired clientele would be put off by price hikes.

Because of the labor shortage, restaurant owners have also been spending more time cooking or serving customers themselves.

McCormack said she had started working 12-hour shifts most days before ultimately slashing the cafe's opening hours. LaForge, meanwhile, said he was now spending more time doing prep work in the kitchen and had to restructure his menu because he didn't have as much time to think up specials. He added that his wife, who's undergoing cancer treatment, was having to help out.

Some restaurants have ultimately crumbled under the pressures of the tight labor market.

Taco Crush in McKinney, Texas, closed down in September after being left with just three kitchen workers. Owner Paul Horton told Insider that larger companies had poached some of his staff with offers of much higher wages or benefits.

"Being a small, independent business, I can't compete with wages on bigger companies, let alone offer them any kind of benefits," he said.

Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-last
Read the original article on Business Insider

A Florida restaurant chain says boosting pay and offering better benefits helped it end its labor shortage .
Pollo Tropical is raising prices by between 4% and 6% in December fund its higher wages, sign-on bonuses, and improved benefits.This is despite the huge labor shortage affecting the industry: Restaurants across the US are struggling to find staff amid the current labor shortage as workers leave the industry citing low pay, poor benefits, and lack of flexible working hours.

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