The Gig Economy is likely here to stay. A recent McKinsey Study reveals “20 to 30 percent of the working-age population engage in some form of independent work. While demographically diverse, they largely fit into four segments: free agents, casual earners, reluctants, and the financially strapped.”
What’s a restaurateur dealing with high turnover to do? Plan for it, harness the advantages, and create a plan to use it to your advantage.
The following are some ways the savvy owner or manager can benefit from the reality of the new evolving work force.
Good People Know Good People
Of course, you need to retain your key staff. These are your core employees that have made hospitality a career choice. The people you can text and say “I really need you. We are in the weeds” and you know they will be there.
We know what almost everybody knows. The industry is fun and flexible. You can often choose the hours you work and the environment you work in. Ask your valued team members if they have any friends or family that can help out during peak seasons, take odd shifts, or know anyone who needs a little extra cash. Build your bench strength during slow times. It’s great to have a portfolio of trained readily available people you can call. By asking and maybe even rewarding your staff for helping you to recruit, you will keep a steady stream of potential employees coming in. You will also have a team that is more committed to success knowing that their friends or family members are a reflection on them.
Create an Internship Program
Know the culinary schools and community colleges in your area. Meet the professors and the guidance counselors. Make it known that you are often hiring. Create the internship program of your choice (BOH or FOH) to help local students get exposure to a working environment. It will be rewarding to meet people investing in the hospitality industry, you’ll likely learn what’s new and up and coming, you’ll meet great people and you just might create relationships with people that will ultimately become your team members and future managers.
Be Open to Employees without Experience
The culinary industry is easy to love and many people do. Sure, we like to have the experienced potential employee that will hit the ground running. However, there are several people that may just need a little extra cash. Hiring people that want to explore new opportunities could create a good pool of potential surge staff – those that can work one day a week for odd hours and hard to fill shifts. Wouldn’t it be great to have a team to reach out to if someone doesn’t show, quits, gets sick or calls off? While experience is helpful, training and onboarding new employees gets easier all the time through the use of technology. There are certain behaviors and skills the future employee will need that are found in many industries: people skills, a willingness to learn and thriving in a fast-paced environment.
Make Scheduling Easy
A key success factor in running your restaurant is making sure your staff shows up on time, prepared and ready to work. When I work is an app allows you to schedule easily. Be aware, a fee kicks in after 75 employees. Hold your employees accountable for finding a backup if they can’t make it for some reason. The, also free, Take My Shift app makes it easy for employees to find a back up. In this ready to work economy it shouldn’t be too hard to find someone. Perhaps one day soon, scheduling challenges will be a war story from our pasts!
Keep in touch with your current and former employees through the social media channel of your choice: Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Know where you can find them, you never know when your paths might cross again.