The Great Resignation is well and truly in swing, with a record number of people leaving their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic. The hospitality and catering industries are feeling its impact disproportionately compared with other industries. With 40% of workers thinking about leaving their jobs in 2022, organizations need to develop strategies to retain their talent. Here’s why workers are resigning from their jobs and what businesses can do to prevent it.

What Exactly Is the Great Resignation? 

The term “The Great Resignation” refers to the social phenomenon in which a very high number of employees have been resigning from their jobs since 2020. There have been periods of employee shortages before, but employees in multiple industries are leaving in numbers never seen before in our workforce history. 

Many resignations resulted from the extended lockdowns during the pandemic, when people realized they didn’t want to return to the same job. This is especially true for the hospitality and culinary industries. The volatility of the tourism and catering industry caused many workers to decide to upskill and switch jobs to look for more stability. As such, according to a survey by Popmenu 83% of restaurants are understaffed.

Who are the workers exiting the workforce? Millennials are the biggest group leaving, with employees between 30 and 45 years old having the highest turnover. One-fifth of millennials changed jobs in 2021, and many more say they don’t want to remain in their current jobs. 

Why are millennials leaving their jobs? Millennials value work-life balance, good pay, and satisfying work. The hospitality industry is known for its long hours and not-so-high pay. 

What’s the impact of losing millennials? Organizations are losing workers with at least a few years of experience, many in key positions—there is an entire sector of middle management and experienced workers resigning from their jobs. Those who remain, as well the ones wanting to join the industry, have more bargaining power. 

Reasons Workers are Resigning

What reasons do workers give for quitting their jobs? 

  1. Low Pay

The main reason for any worker to leave, especially in hospitality and culinary workers, is that they aren’t making enough money. The median hourly wage for cooks, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $14.43. The median hourly wage for tipped workers is $12.50. According to Indeed, the average base salary for restaurant staff is $16.30, which is a bit over $30,000 a year.

2. No Advancement Opportunities

There is a myth about the culinary and hospitality industry that there are no growth opportunities. In reality, many restaurants and hotels tend to promote from the inside rather than hiring outsiders. 

3. Lack of Respect at Work

Let’s admit it, jobs in hospitality, catering, and restaurants are naturally stressful. The high pace and high stress dynamic sometimes make employees feel they are not respected at work. Investing in creating a positive environment that recognizes people for their work can achieve marvelous results in employee retention. 

The Impact on Hospitality and Catering Industries

The Great Resignation has been especially difficult for the hospitality and culinary industries. Of all industries affected, hospitality, food service, and leisure—including restaurants, hotels, event venues, and bars—have been hit the hardest.  For these industries, hiring dropped 60% during the pandemic, which exacerbated existing internal problems. 

Why are the hospitality and culinary industries the most affected? As we mentioned previously, the natural characteristics of those industries make those jobs less attractive to young workers. Improving the health of the work environment, increasing collaboration and opportunities to grow can help in retaining these employees and attract new on-demand workers. 

How Businesses Can Retain Workers Effectively

All is not lost for the hospitality industry. While the challenges may sound difficult to overcome, they are not impossible. Here are some tips you can use to entice workers to stay.

Improve Your Compensation Package 

Because low wages is one of the main reasons workers leave, better compensation can be a key factor in encouraging your on-demand workers to continue working with your company. With attractive pay and benefits, your company can attract quality employees. Study market research to adjust the wages and the scheduling around peak hours. 

Manage Burnout With Flexible Schedules 

Employment in the hospitality and culinary industries can be great for people looking to work outside the traditional 9-to-5 office hours. These odd hours, however, have the downside of impacting work-life balance. 56% of workers in the restaurant industry say that flexible scheduling can improve their work satisfaction. 

Draw up the work schedule with empathy for the life circumstances of your employees. Some tips for creating schedules include: 

  • Use staff management tools: Nowsta scheduling software helps your organization create, change, share and manage schedules easily in real time. 
  • Get the schedule out ahead of time: There are few things more disruptive for an employee than getting the weekly work schedule at the last minute. Getting the schedule out two weeks ahead is not only a good practice, but it also gives your employees time to plan out their lives. 
  • Allow shift swaps: Even when people know the schedule early, things can happen and employees may need to change their shifts. Give them the option to trade shifts with coworkers. Modern scheduling software can make swaps and last-minute changes much easier. 

Provide Opportunities To Grow

Hospitality and culinary work are tough, and for on-demand workers, it can be difficult to feel connected to the company and advance with their careers. Giving plenty of recognition to staff, both permanent and temporary, can help workers feel they are a part of your team. Some recognition should come in the form of promotions, so invest in a training program. Go beyond training new hires, and give your workers the opportunity to upskill. 

How Technology Can Help Increase Worker Retention

Many of the reasons workers in this industry quit their jobs are easily preventable. Understanding the underlying causes, you can make the necessary changes to entice your permanent workers to stay and your on-demand staff to want to come back. 

A well-managed schedule and seamless communication can go a long way to increasing worker satisfaction. Contact us to learn how Nowsta simplifies and streamlines staff management and increases worker retention. If you liked this article, feel free to share it on social media.