The Restaurant & Food Service Industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, representing approximately 10 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Although industry sales are continuing almost a decade of consecutive annual growth and the overall economy is improving, the current operating environment isn’t without its challenges. You need an executive search firm that has proven its value to its clients. Customer retention and changing tastes, new trends and passing fads, shifting demographics and economics, high labor turnover, legislative and regulatory pressures, and escalating costs are just a few of the challenges facing industry executives. Employee recruitment and retention is re-emerging as a top challenge as a tightening labor market means greater competition and cost for high quality, conscientious, dependable employees. In addition, challenges with the Affordable Care Act implementation and minimum wage increases have had a significant impact on restaurant bottom lines. New and emerging technologies for menus, ordering and payment can reduce some labor requirements and are slowly becoming more of an expectation than a novelty among younger customers. But these new applications and systems are not yet perfected and can make the older customer experience more complicated and frustrating if not easy to understand and easy to use.
Restaurant & Food service companies must have the strategy, leadership and processes required to manage these challenges and risks, and to capitalize on the competitive opportunities they afford. To improve customer satisfaction and profitability, they must meet new and changing customer demands, tastes and service expectations by improving menu selections, quality, nutrition, and service. To attract and retain workers, they are realizing that they must be proactive and take steps to make their restaurants a better place for their employees to work. Expertise in management recruiting has become paramount. Attraction and retention successes that are occurring are due primarily to improved communications, fostering teamwork, building a good team spirit and sticking to their stated principles and core values. Operators must enhance operational efficiency, and minimize waste and loss. They must be innovative and aggressive in maximizing total revenue and margins per customer visit, and reducing staff turnover and overtime to minimize costs and potential quality of service issues. Limiting losses due to food spoilage, returned foods, employee error and employee theft are a constant battle for restaurants and the effective use of technology can assist in addressing these concerns.