When I was a kid, everyone knew the best part-time jobs were in restaurants — the wages weren't great but you got to work inside, you got to eat well, and if you were good, you got some great tips. Unsurprisingly, all my friends were doing the same, and so you had to work your butt off to find a restaurant that was hiring.
According to restaurant.org
, 1 in 3 Americans got their first job experience in a restaurant.
For decades, the economics of our industry have relied heavily on this vast, cheap labor pool of young workers. But times have changed. There are now unlimited jobs with seemingly no-one to fill them. A recent study in the New York Times
showed that across this last generation, the availability of youth in the restaurant labor force has dropped by almost half, from 56 per location to less than 30.
But what's to blame?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
, more and more youth are choosing to further their studies rather than work part time. Moreover, an article last month in Forbes Magazine
noted that as much as 36% of the American workforce has now moved to the gig economy, and youth are simply going online to find jobs from the comfort of home.
Meanwhile, the number of restaurants has exploded.
Last month in the Washington Post
, food journalist Kevin Alexander wrote that the lack of a serious recession since 2008 has led to an explosion in new restaurant investments as people who otherwise wouldn't are taking risks and being creative with new ventures. That creativity has led to a glut of competition with every new outfit competing with the last for dwindling consumer dollars.
The struggle to find good staff without impacting already tight margins is compounded by the need to limit churn — CNBC
places employee turnover at around 130%, and at an average cost of $2000 per head, it's driving many restaurant managers to cut into their margins to increase wages and offer incentives like signing bonuses, tuition support, and even dental care.
Another solution to combat attrition is to give employees more flexibility in their scheduling. A study by Shiftboard.com
found that 9 out of 10 hourly workers consider schedule to be the most important factor in job satisfaction and that 85% would even change employers if given the option to manage their schedule.
With ClockedIn, you can do exactly that. You can connect with employees from across the workforce who are looking for extra shifts and you can fill your roster with people who are happy to be working the schedule they want.
Stop worrying about staffing. Come check us out.. www.clockedin.com