I realize I wrote about this topic last month, but it is probably the single most talked about issue amongst restauranteurs. With the national unemployment number standing at 5 percent, the lowest level since April 2008, and with more than half of the country’s 387 metropolitan areas boasting rates below 5 percent, it has been increasingly difficult for restauranteurs to staff their restaurants. But is it impossible? I think not. They key is attracting and retaining Millennials. Millennials make up the biggest generation in the U.S. (some 75 million in all), but they account for barely 30 percent of employed Americans! As restauranteurs, we need to ask ourselves WHY? For one, we need to grow and adapt our management philosophies and methods to better suit this important group. Interestingly, a recent report noted that “100 percent of focus group attendees (all millennials) . . . reported observing disrespect or even bullying in the workplace.” It is crazy to think we still manage our restaurants this way, and it shows that now more than ever, this type of management needs to change or our industry will suffer. At Matrix Restaurant Consulting, we are here to help develop and implement management tools, systems, and benefits to not only attract millennials, but to also retain this important group.
For more on the shrinking labor pool, check out this article from Restaurant Hospitality: Cracking the Labor Code
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