Staffing restaurants during the holiday season is already a challenge due to employee time-off requests, no shows and competing retail job opportunities for seasonal workers. But given the national labor shortage, staffing might be even more of a challenge than usual.
As we shift toward a new normal, consumers will also be more inclined to eat out. This trend is expected to continue unabated into the holiday months. We might see a reprieve in the labor shortage as we approach winter, with restaurants having access to more job-seekers and support. This could address any potential holiday-related staffing challenges.
Being proactive in hiring more staff will help ensure you have a healthy roster leading into the holidays. Consider implementing an employee referral program with your existing team members. This can serve as an extra incentive that’s more attractive around the holiday season.
The holidays aren’t ordinary business days. They’ll likely continue to be a challenging staffing period for restaurants. However, by leveraging a few simple strategies, restaurant managers can mitigate any potential staffing risks while keeping margins high and sales up. By marketing flexible working hours and being proactive about recruiting, training and scheduling, small businesses can set themselves apart from their competitors.
With attractive holiday pay incentives that can support, encourage and retain employees, restaurants can position themselves as preferred employers among seasonal job-seekers.
Further, with the national labor shortage expected to abate in the coming months, restaurants can plan for a better holiday season in 2021 than they did last year.