The Hospitality Staffing Crisis Is Accelerating Digital Transformation

The rate of unemployment in the hospitality industry remains high, as large numbers of people continue to quit their jobs. This post-pandemic trend, known as the ‘Great Resignation’ or ‘Big Quit’, is putting immense pressure on employers to step up their talent attraction game and think outside the box to retain employees.

Let’s take a look at what’s currently happening in the sector, and what you can do to overcome the challenges ahead.

The staffing crisis continues

According to the National Restaurant Association, at the end of 2020 (the year COVID-19 struck the US), 2.5 million jobs in the food and beverage industry vanished. While the sector added 1.7 million jobs in 2021, marking a year-end total of 14.5 million employees, restaurants across the country remain severely understaffed.

As of February 2022, 7 in 10 operators say their restaurant doesn’t have enough staff to support growing customer demands. What’s more, many expect these labor challenges to continue through to 2023.

The Great Resignation isn’t slowing down

Adding fuel to the fire, hospitality is still viewed as a stopgap for students and young people to earn some extra cash while studying, rather than a career. It’s no wonder the food and hospitality sector has the highest rate of anticipated resignation, with 26% of workers in the industry planning on finding new employment this year.

“These areas have been hit the hardest with burnout and staff shortages during the pandemic,” said Carolyn Kleiman, Senior Career Counselor, Consultant, and Resume Writer. “This means extra work for those who show up, which leads to more burnout.”

Digital transformation is needed

The staffing crisis is causing serious problems for restaurant operators, with almost half expecting recruitment and retention issues to be their top challenge in 2022. Over 80% believe technology provides a competitive advantage, and many have increased their investment in this area, in an attempt to reach potential candidates and keep their existing people on board.

“While recovery speed varies across the industry by segment, the constant innovation and sustained flexibility of restaurant operators are creating a new future for the restaurant industry. There will continue to be ample opportunities for growth in 2022 and beyond,” said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of Research & Knowledge at the National Restaurant Association.

Ready to adapt?

If you haven’t invested in technology yet, or you’re looking for an industry-specific system, Harri has you covered! Our end-to-end workforce management solutions are specifically designed for the service sector. From pre-hire to post-hire and everything in between, Harri is helping restaurants, hotels, and retailers to build, manage, and engage their most important resource: their teams.

To learn more about our industry-optimized platform, request a free demo from one of our experts today.

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And if you’d like to receive more news like this, subscribe to Harri Insider. You’ll get unlimited free access to the latest labor-related research, panels, trends, and insights.

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