🍳 Is the restaurant staffing crisis over?

4 min read
🍳 Is the restaurant staffing crisis over?

Is restaurant staffing finally returning to pre-pandemic levels? The National Restaurant Association says that employee hiring and retention are on the rise. Pull up a chair for the discussion in today's edition of The Prep.

On the menu:

πŸ’² Service fees take center stage
πŸš€ Happy employees, happy customers
πŸƒ The outdoor dining debate
🍽️ The perfect pickled pairing

Restaurant employee retention is on the rise

A recent National Restaurant Association survey shows restaurant turnover rates are finally returning to pre-pandemic levels. The average quit rate over the last four months is 4.8%, a whole point lower than 2021 & 2022 and slightly below 2019's 4.9%. Additionally, 88% of operators plan on hiring new staff in the next 6-12 months, and the industry expects to add another 200,000 jobs this year.

Read on at Nation’s Restaurant News.

🎧 The Dining Table, Episode 45

Prioritizing employee well-being

First Bite's Leigh Anne Zinsmeister and industry expert Alicia Kelso explore a crucial yet often overlooked topic: employee mental health. The latest episode explores actionable strategies for cultivating a well-being-focused work environment in your restaurant. Industry leaders like Chipotle and Starbucks are paving the way with innovative programs. The podcast explores solutions like competitive wages and benefits, fostering a positive work culture, and the potential of technology to streamline operations and reduce stress.

Listen to the full episode here.

NYC goes all-in on outdoor dining

New York City restaurants can now apply for the city's permanent outdoor dining program, "Dining Out NYC." Launched last week, the program permits year-round sidewalk cafe setups and seasonal roadway placements. This initiative offers establishments the potential to expand capacity and generate additional revenue. Program guidelines outlining design standards, accessibility requirements, and the application process are available for review.

Learn more at CBS News.

Streamline takeout efficiency

A new study highlights the enduring power of takeout, even as dine-in recovers. The report finds that takeout now accounts for a significant portion of restaurant revenue, and many consumers plan to maintain takeout habits. In fact, 40% of customers say they prefer to order directly from restaurant websites. This trend underscores the importance of optimizing your takeout operations for efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Check out the full story at Deloitte.

**Are you serving fermented food yet?

This food preservation technique, used for everything from kimchi to kombucha, is finding its way onto menus nationwide. Diners are increasingly interested in gut-healthy options, making fermented foods a potential menu winner. Consider incorporating fermented ingredients like pickles, sauerkraut, or even house-made kimchi to add a unique flavor profile and cater to this growing customer interest.

Read more at Medium.

Tokyo's cuisine infuses global flavor
This dynamic city offers an incredible array of global flavors, but its local heroes reign supreme. Think fresh, seasonal ingredients expertly crafted into delectable dishes like edomae-style tempura or a steaming bowl of iconic ramen. Beyond Japanese classics, Tokyo boasts a thriving scene for Chinese and Italian cuisine, ensuring something to entice every taste bud. This recognition presents a great opportunity to highlight and leverage Japanese flavors and influences on your menu, attracting curious and food-forward customers.

Learn more at Travel + Leisure.

A pinch of this and that

πŸš€ D.C. votes to cap service fees

πŸ• The BIG takeaway of delivery apps

πŸ₯ͺ Dynamic pricing is here to stay

🍽️ El Pollo Loco enters the digital age

πŸš€ Taffer's Tavern shutters Boston eatery

A restaurant is only as good as its customer service -- and the rise in restaurant employee retention is a positive sign that operations continue to improve. Are your staff numbers back to pre-pandemic levels yet?

From consumer trends to emerging technology that will improve your operations -- The Prep offers weekly insight into what is driving the bar and restaurant industries.

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We’re looking forward to connecting with you each week – thanks for coming to the table for The Prep.