In the past two years, the restaurant industry has been in constant flux. But as the pandemic begins to retreat and establishments begin to operate at full capacity once again - some things may have changed.
In 2022, the market is shifting, and employers need to be prepared to provide what their employees want. Mental health is paramount, and staff expect fair compensation and respect, but what else has changed, and how can employers succeed in this new market?
These are the top 7 things that restaurant staff is now expecting from employers in 2022:
As the economy slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are recuperating from the financial consequences of the pandemic.
In Canada, for example, 47% of the population lives paycheck to paycheck and requires some form of loan or overdraft protection daily. To make this a reality and alleviate financial stress from their employees - employers can consider the option of Instant Pay, also known as Earned Wage Access (EWA) system, instead of traditional payment methods to settle their bills quickly.
Instant Pay or earned wage access (EWA) is quickly becoming the standard for restaurants because it gives workers more flexibility with their finances. It further provides an equal playing field between employers and employees.
EWA Restaurant Software now automates the employee's instant payment options. And the fact that it can integrate with employers existing restaurant payroll software allows them to receive their earnings as soon as they earn them with a click. Eventually, employees enjoy greater flexibility with spending their money while also reducing headaches for restaurants that need to keep track of payrolls and employees' balances.
Another benefit of using EWA software is that it allows employees to access interest-free cash from their paychecks when they need it most! With EWA, workers can get interest-free cash during tax season or when unexpected expenses come up. They don't have to rely on credit cards or personal loans for emergency funds.
"The customer is always right" is now becoming an echo of times past. This statement has now evolved to include and protect the rights of employees in 2022. While the overall goal should be to create a positive experience for the customer, it's equally important not to make your employees feel underappreciated or disrespected.
There's a growing call for customers to understand their limitations. Employers must recognize when customers are being unreasonable and entitled to special treatment. Businesses and managers need to trust their employees as professionals. Employees demand breathing space to do their jobs effectively.
It's also an employer's responsibility to help employees deal with stressful situations when they arise. Give them a chance to vent about a rude customer, then offer some advice about handling it better next time. You can further train your staff members to go above and beyond for customers needing special assistance.
Today's employees demand that you treat them with more respect. There is no better way to show respect than to have their backs when they need you. Employees who feel valued get more out of their work experience. A valued staff will stay with the company longer than those who don't feel valued. When employees don't trust their employer to respect their interests, they'll jump ship at the first opportunity.
As more people work in fast-paced, high-stress environments, the more likely employees are to seek mental health services.
In a recent study, employees said that an essential factor in helping them with their mental health was a robust support system from employers and co-workers.
Recently, many restaurant companies have already started to offer benefits and policies to ensure employees' mental health and well-being. Many states provide legislation to prevent discrimination against people with mental health issues. New labor laws now require employers to provide such support programs for their staff.
Beyond the whims and caprices of the law, restaurants can take further steps to improve employee well-being and increase productivity. You can check out our full list of employee mental health resources for employers here or read on.
Here are some ideas for providing better mental health support for your employees:
Provide confidential counseling services for employees who need help dealing with stress, anxiety or depression. Counseling services may involve an internal employee assistance program (EAP) or work with an outside provider. If you have a large workforce, you may consider using technology like online counseling or video conferencing to make the most of your budget.
Offer paid time off for vacation and sick leave and flexible schedules to employees. Give your restaurant's staff a chance to attend appointments or take care of family members without worrying about missing work or losing paychecks. Many studies found that workers with access to these benefits reported fewer "mental health days" than those without such access.
Encourage healthy habits by offering wellness programs that include exercise equipment like treadmills and elliptical machines in the break room. Healthy snacks like fresh fruit and nuts at meetings and events are also good options. Other physical activities such as walking meetings or yoga classes during lunchtime will bolster wellness.
Encourage outdoor activities that promote team building and allow staff members to bond more closely. Tell your employees to walk through local parks or participate in group activities such as climbing trees, playing games and cooking together in the kitchen.
Encourage employees to join an informal group where they can talk about their experiences and offer support and advice to each other. Support groups range from a private Facebook group. Or simply by encouraging them to talk informally in the break room or lunchroom.
Offer flexible scheduling options like working from home or telecommuting on certain days. Some employees may also prefer evening shifts or weekend work if that works better with their personal lives.
Consider offering programs like meditation classes, yoga sessions or mindfulness training to help reduce stress levels among employees. These programs can also help employees develop healthier habits outside of work. If you're not sure where to start, take a look at this list of meditation apps designed specifically for restaurants.
People join the restaurant industry for many reasons, but one of them is to be able to set their schedules. For years, managers took advantage of this feature and scheduled their employees on a rigid schedule that didn't allow them much flexibility.
However, now that there are more restaurants than ever before, managers realize that they need to give their employees more flexibility. Options for flexibility can help attract the best new talent while retaining current employees who expect it from their employers.
Flexible scheduling can be challenging when managing an entire team through a traditional scheduling system, but technology has made it possible.
You can use an employee scheduling app that allows your staff to request shifts and swap them digitally with one another. Then, you can approve or deny requests based on what's best for your business and its customers. The scheduling app reduces the need for phone calls between managers and employees about scheduling issues, saving time for both parties and making restaurant scheduling easy.
Before the pandemic, most restaurants' front-of-house staff survived on tips, and minimum wage (or lower) was the standard. However, restaurant servers are moved from the floor to do back-of-house tasks to cushion the financial constraint. The reshuffle means less opportunity for tips and, therefore, less money for servers.
Since the pandemic, people are more likely to eat at home than sit down for dinner at a nice restaurant. It's harder for restaurant floor workers to survive solely on tips alone.
Now, restaurant staff members expect fair hourly wages. It's about the freedom to go out and take care of themselves. A low wage means no time off or vacations.
In the end, all employees want to feel like they're part of something bigger than themselves. They want to know that they matter and that their employer cares about them as much as they do about the business, which brings us to our next point.
In the past few years, there have been many changes in the restaurant industry. The "great resignation" showed that employee management is not all about wages. Restaurant owners need to take more time to meet and learn about their employees.
Nowadays, employees want to know that their opinions matter. It's not enough for a manager to sit in their office and wait for staff to come to them. Managers need to go out and feel what's going on in the workplace.
Restaurant owners should also make their employees feel supported throughout their careers. You can help your workers learn new skills or even offer them training opportunities outside of work hours if necessary. The more the employee feels supported by their employer, the more likely they will stay with you for longer and achieve success in their personal goals!
Another way to bolster employees' work confidence is to provide a safe working environment. A safe environment is about safety and taking steps to protect employees from customer harassment and co-workers.
Finally, employers should consider equal opportunities for women and men regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. They should be treated equally and respect each other's differences without prejudice or discrimination.
The days of writing down orders, paper schedules, and missing paychecks are now in the past. Today's restaurant staff expect more than just a paycheck. They expect to be compensated with the right tools and technology to make their jobs effortless, more efficient, and more enjoyable.
Restaurant staff expects employers to provide the best tools and technology at their disposal. Employers can help achieve this by providing paperless scheduling systems, point-of-sale systems, payroll technology, and mobile apps. These technologies help employees access information on the go.
Consequently, employers that invest in the latest technologies improve efficiency and save time and money. Here are some ideas for making your restaurant more employee and technology-friendly at the same time:
You can learn more at our full article on restaurant technology.
Want to know how to keep great people?
As the recent pandemic and great resignation made clear, you can't just hire great employees — you have to work at keeping them. Here are some tips to help you keep them:
A restaurant's success will always hinge on retaining good employees. Great employees are the backbone of a successful business, from the front line to the back of the house. Check out these restaurant retention tools to achieve your employee retention goal as an employer.
It's no secret that the restaurant industry is changing. And while some of the changes are good, others are, well… not so much. Still, as with any change, it's essential to try and stay optimistic about the future of your business.
We created the Push restaurant payroll and employee management software that wraps all your people management tasks to help you out. Push is the perfect tool for any restaurant manager looking to manage their staff more effectively with less stress, it's payroll meets HR, meets restaurant scheduling software all in one.
Get started with Push today to focus on what's important: running your business and keeping your customers happy.
“In the labor numbers, we were reporting about a $300 to $400 difference than what we were getting through Push!”
-Tara Hardie, ZZA Hospitality Group, 16 locations