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FOODSERVICE 2021: SUSTAINING STAFF


NEW REPORT SUGGESTS THAT THE LABOR CRISIS IS PART OF THE NEW NORMAL


In August, US-based foodservice market research firm Technomic released a report, exploring the staffing challenges that operators are grappling with. Crisis on the Front Lines Multi Client Study outlined the drivers behind the staffing crisis in foodservice and addressed some of the challenges faced by operators. The report found that former restaurant employees who left the industry before the pandemic are now in more traditional jobs, including office jobs (30%) and teaching/education (17%). Meanwhile 85% of those surveyed cited work-life balance and professional management as the most important factors in the job, indicating that the sector needs to implement wide-ranging changes in its approach to people. “The employment value proposition has changed as a result of the pandemic, and operators will need to adjust hiring and retention strategies to effectively compete for workers in this environment and going forward,” said Melissa Wilson, advisor at Technomic.


Movement in a different direction


Adding the human dimension to the sustainability equation may have been bubbling under the surface until now, but there is belief that for the foodservice sector to thrive, it needs to be part of the conversation. Earlier this year, at the Spanish gastronomy congress Madrid Fusión chefs appeared to share their take on circular gastronomy, the conference theme. It was striking that all took it as given that foodservice and hospitality today understand the importance of environmentally responsible practice; the next level is the imperative to support people. In other words, without consideration for the human side, there can be no such


JOSH NILAND Chef/owner, st Peter, Sydney, Australia


Top: This year Madrid Fusión took circular gastronomy as it’s theme


60


“We all have our heads down and our eye on something else, but I hope there is attention being shown to the people”


thing as sustainable behavior. “You have to be consistent. You can’t say you are championing sustainability if you have people in tears or mentally exhausted and deprived of any personal time. So, before you pick up the phone and order any fi sh, you need to know everybody is happy,” says chef Joshua Niland, the owner of Saint Peter and Fish Butchery in Sydney, Australia. “We all have our heads down and our eye on something else, but I hope there is attention being shown to the people because too many are leaving the industry or crying inside.” As the restaurant community continues


to emerge from the pandemic and refl ecting on the way forward, Caranchini measures his restaurant’s successful recovery by the state of his team. “We haven’t fi red a single staff member


and it’s paid off when we’re open, with the full team happy to be back instead of searching for new staff members, which is now a very tough task,” he says. “These should not be things to be remembered for, but it’s a start. Many people in the industry are now acting like this and I think that this could be the real change for the hospitality.”


For more go to fcsi.org


ALAMY / BRIAN SAMUELS / GETTY IMAGES / JASON LOUCAS


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