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Thread: Restaurant

  1. #1

    Default Restaurant

    We purchased a restaurant this year, and so far the most difficult issue is hiring / retaining kitchen staff. It seems they do not have to work while receiving stimulus checks and they are making the most of it.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Beaver Falls, PA


    I can relate to that. Not too many people want to find a job when they can make more money sitting home. Here if you work less hours you can claim partial unemployment, work 32 hours, get paid 50% for the 8 hours you are not working and while it was still $ 600.00 collect that as well so you were making close to $ 100.00 an hour sitting home that one day.

    When the Covid virus first hit we had one employee tell his co-workers he was not coming back until he absolutely had to. He moved and changed his phone number so we could not get ahold of him to call him back. We sent a certified letter to his last address hoping it would be forwarded. We still heard nothing from him so a few weeks later we took him off the health insurance and were able to do that starting the first of that month. A few days later he was in a bad motorcycle accident breaking his collerbone, let, cracking some ribs and more and had no insurance. That one came back to bite him.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.

  3. #3


    Here is a suggestion. Why not go to the local college and offer an internship? A Food and Hospitality Internship.
    They will have to learn the entire restaurant business. Perhaps in exchange for the free service they could also really learn the business.
    Or a culinary internship if you need cooks.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Ontario, Canada


    When students are being paid to stay home rather than work, why would they take an internship?
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

  5. #5


    I appreciate Dawn's suggestion. Does anyone have any other suggestions? If we offer a six month bonus to a dishwasher then the rest of the kitchen is mad they didn't get anything. So now we must offer six moth bonus to entire kitchen. We are successful, so it is not out of the question, and I believe there is value in not having the headache of trying to find someone. It seems to be one of those grin and bear it situations.

    I floated the idea that we close for the next 6-8 months and apply for assistance but it wasn't well received.

  6. #6


    Maybe you could create a bonus for the kitchen staff based on meals prepared / total kitchen hours worked per week/month? You might be able to get more productivity from your current workers without needing to add more. Figure out how much that extra worker you were going to hire costs per week and divide (most of) that savings among the current workers.

    This worked well in my manufacturing company when we were having trouble hiring people because of low unemployment. Hopefully you can adapt it to a restaurant as well.

    As far as bonuses for new hires, that doesn't always work very well, as you discovered. Even raising starting wages can create problems. In the late 90's we tried to increase our starting wage by about $1.50 because we were having so much trouble hiring workers. We were a Union shop, so the employees had to vote on it. We were going to give any employee below our new starting rate a raise to get them up to that level so no one would be below the new starting wage. It was voted down by an enormous margin because the workers who had been there for a year of two didn't think it was fair that new hires would be at the same rate as them. Long time employees didn't want it because there was no increase for them. So, a union shop voted down a wage increase with no management givebacks - surely a first! That's when we created the productivity bonus and found that we didn't need to hire quite as many people to get the same amount of work completed.

    You just need to figure out something creative to help the situation. Maybe a weekly $100 cash giveaway to one member of the kitchen staff using a raffle of some sort (give one ticket for each shift worked)?

    Hope you can come up with a winner!

  7. #7


    I think a productivity bonus is a great idea that adds motivation for the kitchen staff as well to work harder. Did you find that your staff fully participated with this incentive?

  8. #8


    We talked incentive programs but never followed through. Things are much better now. We have good crews in the front and back of the house.


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