What’s your labor situation like? I’m willing to bet it’s less than ideal. That seems to be the case for nearly every restaurant owner I’ve spoken to over the past year. From pizza to hot dog stands to fine dining, I hear the same story over and over and over: “No one wants to work” or “I just can’t find help.”
Nick Bogacz of Caliente Pizza & Draft House in Pittsburgh is one of the nation’s most successful operators. Recently he was the guest on an episode of our weekly podcast, The Hot Slice, where he confessed to being at wit’s end. Even he is struggling to find reliable employees. That’s extra frustrating when you’re in growth mode.
Understaffed, overworked and overstressed is the current status quo. Just like nearly everything else we’ve endured since early March of 2020, we’re deep in the weeds on this one. Your sales are up, yet your labor pool is nonexistent and you’re working 80 hours per week as a result.
Yet, as we emerge from the pandemic and resume something that resembles normalcy, adequate staffing levels are a necessity if we’re going to grow and continue offering the level of service for which this industry is known.
It’s time to take a hard look in the mirror and evaluate your pay scale, benefits, training and retention measures. Get to the heart of what makes your employees happy and fulfilled. I believe the best brand ambassadors are enthusiastic employees. If they publicly acknowledge how great it is to work for you, others in need of a good gig will take notice. And the best way to turn your workers into evangelists for your pizzeria is to make sure your work environment is second to none.
If you have figured this out in your market and are attracting workers while everyone else is hanging the “Help Wanted” sign in desperation, you’re in an enviable position. You also have an opportunity to help your peers nationwide. Shoot me an e-mail and let me know what’s working for you!
Editor In Chief