HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022!
The Best of Restaurant Business 2021
The up-and-down year in the restaurant industry. It’s amazing to think just how much of a roller coaster the past year really was. The year began with continued COVID challenges and political upheaval that evolved into hope with vaccines and reopenings and a surge in sales. And then more challenges and now, unfortunately, yet another surge. Restaurant Business journalists have been covering these events every day. As we head into the new year, it’s worth taking stock not just of the year that was, but of the work that we published on these pages.
Biden Administration to let More Immigrant Workers Temporarily into the U.S.
The executive branch said it will request an immediate 20,000 increase in H-2B visas. The Biden administration said Monday that it will take the unprecedented step of making 20,000 more temporary work permits available near-term to ease the labor shortage hamstringing non-agricultural businesses such as restaurants and hotels. The joint effort by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) would make 20,000 additional H-2B visas available to immigrants who want to work within the United States for a relatively short stretch. The work permits are frequently used by seasonal enterprises to staff up for their peak seasons. Although adjustments in the number issued are common, increases usually come later in the year, when employers are staffing up for the summer. The visas to be issued this time around are intended for hiring immigrants on or before March 31. The DHS said this is the first time the department has requested an increase during the first half of the federal fiscal year, which extends from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
NCR Reveals 2022 Hospitality Trends and Predictions
Trends NCR is watching as move into 2022. While sales are trending higher, the National Restaurant Association reports three in four operators say recruitment and retention is their toughest challenge. In August, the restaurant industry lost more than 40,000 jobs. Without enough workers, restaurants have reduced operating hours and increasingly rely on overburdened staff in the face of stronger diner demand. Next year, operators will continue to lean into technologies like order and pay-at-the-table options, mobile ordering and curbside operations to increase efficiency and decrease the number of staff needed. With 38 percent of consumers noting they will be ordering carryout instead of dining out and 28% ordering delivery instead of dining out, contactless options will definitely be here to stay in 2022. Personalization has even been deemed the holy grail for restaurants, especially since customer loyalty can help increase sales. Invest even more in tech tools that deliver personalized dining experiences and boost sales.
7 Ways Your POS System Can Slow “The Great Resignation”
Features that can enhance the experience of employees and customers. Yes, you read the title of this article correctly: your POS system can help you slow The Great Resignation. I’ve worked with thousands of restaurants over the years and certainly the last year and a half has been the toughest most have known. The ecosystem has changed, and it’s anyone’s guess when things will return to a pre-pandemic sense of normal. Seating and spaces have been reconfigured to accommodate COVID mandates, in addition to menus reworked due to supply chain shortages. But we can all agree that labor shortages continue to linger as a major issue. According to the New York Times and data from the National Restaurant Association, restaurant employment has risen each month this year, but staffing levels at quick-service and fast-casual restaurants was still down 6 percent over the same period.
Helping Offset the Labor Squeeze and Tightening Operations
A partnership perspective. Labor challenges continue to impact many industries and business segments. And the cruelest irony? That some of the most significant shortages are hitting areas where demands are higher than ever: the workers responsible for helping keep spaces clean, healthy and safe — are also those shouldering the burden of higher expectations around public health and food safety. With signs suggesting these trends aren’t going anywhere, the most successful business operators are uncovering key strategies for empowering staff, simplifying workflows, and driving labor efficiency, without compromising experiences, facility safety or brand image. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management from mid-summer 2021 found that nearly 90% of employers across all sectors are struggling to fill open positions1, and it’s not that hard to figure out why: There are roughly three million fewer Americans currently participating in the labor force than pre-pandemic.2 The exodus from the workforce isn’t letting up, with monthly “quits” hitting new highs, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
Are You Measuring Your Restaurant’s End of Year Performance?
Track your restaurant’s performance using actionable data. Just like you do with your employees, it’s time to do an end of year performance review for your restaurant. It’s a great way to know the amount of growth you’ve had or what’s caused you to remain stagnant. Make sure you are honest so you can put together a great plan for next year. Many restaurant owners feel the need to have spreadsheet after spreadsheet after spreadsheet of data (or their accountant gives them giant reports). When asked what they do with all this information, they shrug their shoulders and say I don’t know. It may be better to have less data that is actionable and accurate, than more data that they don’t understand. More is sometimes just more.
Danny Meyer to Require Booster Shots for Diners and Employees
At Union Square Hospitality Restaurants. Danny Meyer announced on Wednesday that his Union Square Hospitality Group will soon require customers to show proof of a COVID-19 booster shot to dine in its restaurants. The requirement goes into effect on January 24, 2022, for customers, while USHG restaurant employees must provide proof of a booster shot “effective immediately,” according to a spokesperson for the hospitality group. Employees of the company are eligible to receive up to eight hours of paid time off to receive their booster, the spokesperson says. Meyer, who also founded the Shake Shack burger chain, said the publicly traded company would instate its own policy on booster shots. NYC officials recently announced an expansion to the city’s vaccine mandate — from a single dose for adults over the age of 12, to a completed vaccine series, as of December 27 — following a surge in coronavirus cases nationally. In light of the CDC’s latest guidelines on booster shots, though, some restaurants are taking vaccine enforcement into their own hands.
Vax Rules for Kids to Dine at NYC Restaurants
About to get stricter. Parents who planned to dine out with their kids in the Big Apple on Monday were shocked to find out that 5- to 11-year-olds can’t get into restaurants without being vaccinated against the coronavirus — and the rule is about to get even tougher. Erik St. Martin, a software engineer from Florida, 38, said he and his daughter Allie, 7, were turned away from the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square because she hasn’t gotten any shots. “We are in New York for another week and it’s going to be a real pain not being allowed to eat at restaurants,” St. Martin said. “We didn’t know about the vaccine mandate for kids when we booked our family holiday months ago,” he said. Costa Rican tourists Jose Santana, 37, and Daniela Alfaro, 36, said they were forced to tear up their itinerary — and may even cut short their visit to the city with children Victoria, 9, and Marcelo, 5.
Did You Know?
New Jersey’s 21 best restaurants of 2021. New Jersey restaurants spent 2021 battling to rebound from a catastrophic 2020, a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic created a series of crises unseen in our lifetimes, closing eateries around the state and putting the industry on the brink of collapse. This year brought an ever-evolving set of challenges for restaurants, from a massive labor shortage and hostile customers to supply-chain issues and proof of vaccination debates. But 2021 also saw the return of indoor dining with zero capacity limits in May, the closest thing the food world has had to normalcy since early 2020. It was a chance to begin the climb back from plummeting profits and lost restaurants.
6 money rules to break to save your mental health. The stress we put on ourselves to make enough money and save enough money can help us reach our goals — but it can also take a serious toll on our mental well-being. And if sticking to every single rule is giving us anxiety, enjoying the fruits of our labor can be marred by this overexertion of our emotional resources. That’s why we believe there are times you should break the rules, without shirking responsibilities. Here are some financial rules that might be destroying your mental health.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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BERGEN COUNTY RESTAURANT FOR SALE
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