manager handling restaurant staffing with a mask on

The “New Normal” of Restaurant Staffing

Things are different now. Going to the grocery store requires a facemask and gloves. The 9-5 workday takes place at home and happy hours with friends happen over a zoom call. This is especially true for restaurant staffing.

An estimated 27% of restaurants are struggling to maintain enough employees to operate. This is largely fueled by an unemployment wage that is currently inflated by an extra $600 a week. The average wage for restaurant staff in the United States is $11.76 an hour. At that rate, it’s clear to see why many restaurant staff workers prefer to stay home then come back to work.

While the stimulus is set to end on July 31st, There are other factors complicating this issue. The closure of schools and childcare facilities will create challenges for childcare. The resurgence of COVID-19 in the United States has many unsure about the safety of returning to work. Lack of benefits is a known downfall for restaurant jobs, making the return to work risky for staff. Workers in Ann-Arbor created a petition for the extended closure of dine-in services in Washtenaw County.

The restaurant industry has already lost $120 billion since this pandemic began. Restaurant staffing shouldn’t flush more money down the drain. Luckily, there may be a way to avoid this continued bleeding.

Welcome to the Future of Restaurant Staffing

A recent Gartner study found that 32% of organizations are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure. What does this mean? Business owners are realizing their problems look different. The only way to solve new problems is with new solutions. For restaurant staffing, the solution is on-demand.

On-Demand restaurant staffing offers the ability to request temporary employees at a moment’s notice. Advanced technology gives restaurants instant access to thousands of pre-qualified dishwashers, servers, bartenders, and cooks seeking gig work.

This evolution of restaurant staffing is a large part of the emerging “gig economy” which is the use of independent contractors to perform temporary roles. Think of this model as the “ride-share” of restaurant staffing. This ecosystem of contractors has grown to 36% of the US workforce and continues to grow dramatically year over year.

Solving problems as efficiently as possible has never been more important. For restaurant staffing, the speed and flexibility of an on-demand solution can act as a real lifesaver in a sticky situation, especially considering the unpredictability of the world right now. But what about in the future? While on-demand staffing is a convenient way to address the current COVID related obstacles, why does Intuit believe that over 80% of large companies will switch to a flexible workforce in the next decade?

Why don’t we tell you…

Restaurant staffing can be convenient

The word “convenient” is rarely used to describe restaurant staffing. Writing job descriptions, holding interviews, and training new employees take so much time and effort. With restaurant turnover as high as 74.9% in 2018, this process ends up repeating itself over and over again.

With an on-demand restaurant staffing solution, it only takes a few clicks to connect with thousands of vetted, certified, and ready to work professionals. Managers can address their staffing needs instantly, and in turn, can focus their attention on the bigger problems at hand. It’s quick, it’s reliable, and for the first time ever it makes restaurant staffing easier than ever before.

Finding Staff with Speed

In 2018, the average time to hire an employee in the Accommodation and Food Services sector was 30 days. That’s an entire month to fill one role, and that’s just not going to cut it. By default, most restaurants run to job boards like Indeed, Craigslist, and Linkedin to search qualified candidates, and quickly find themselves drowning in applicants. Andreessen Horowitz compares these options to “all-encompassing, cross-cuisine diners with a 17-page menu: they offer a broad look at everything you might want, but don’t do any one thing particularly well.”

The luxury of an on-demand solution is the focus on one industry. If you need one cook, you get one cook. Looking for 20 servers? Get 20 servers. The best part is that the entire process only takes a few clicks. You can post a shift from your phone or computer and watch your shift fill with high-quality staff right before your eyes.

Flexibility of On-Demand

“As we enter this era, demands will have shifted, and peak times will have changed. Understanding these new patterns of customers is key to staffing accurately.” This statement was is in a recent article titled, “The Importance of Flexibility in Restaurant Hiring.” If there is any one learning that has come of this pandemic, it’s that nothing is guaranteed. If things are one way today, they can be completely different tomorrow. and it will be pivotal that restaurants have the ability to be agile and adapt to these ever-changing circumstances.

Flexibility is the secret sauce of an on-demand restaurant staffing platform. This solution enhances the versatility of decision-makers and allows them to staff up or down for any situation. Whether it’s the busiest time of the year or slow season, restaurant staffing becomes a piece of cake.

Restaurant Staff at a Discount

Conserving cash has never been more important. With no real certainty of what the future holds, saving money is going to stay on top of the priority list. A study done by the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University revealed that the recruitment of a new employee can cost up to $2,572. This includes the cost of job boards, time spent reviewing candidates, interviews, and other hiring tasks. If you add in the hourly rate, unemployment taxes, and benefits, this becomes a substantial number to subtract from the bottom line.

By using an on-demand solution, restaurants can save on advertising, skip the interviews, and put money back into their business. Most on-demand restaurant staffing platforms let the business set their own rate for each shift, and add a fee on top of that amount for their service. Because the workers are 1099 independent contractors, there are no taxes or benefits that need paying either. Businesses only have to pay for the work they need, no more and no less.

How to Get On-Demand Restaurant Staff today

Trying something new can feel scary, especially when it’s your business that’s at stake. But, with so much on the line, today may be the day to give on-demand restaurant staffing a shot. If you do, we hope you’d consider Qwick to help out.

At Qwick, we’ve helped dozens of restaurants navigate this “new normal.” Our main priority is helping our partners find the highest quality restaurant staff. Our 98% shift fill-rate positions us as the best in class and is evidence of our commitment to reliability.

We vet each of our professionals in person on a 14pt quality checklist. This ensures they are the best fit to fill shifts for your business. You choose what you want to pay for every shift, and only pay a small 20% fee for the on-demand service.

We know that understaffing sucks, that’s why we built Qwick in the first place. Our mission is to “change the way people work” and we believe that now is a better time than ever to make that happen.

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