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5 Tips for Pizzerias Facing a Labor Shortage

September 6 2017 by Dan Pecha

Waitress Taking Order.jpgLabor shortages are increasingly common in a variety of industries, with foodservice being among the most prevalent. The demand for higher wages and benefits coupled with low unemployment has fueled hiring competition for both experienced and entry level workers, to the detriment of independent restaurants and pizzeria chains.

As a consequence, many owner/operators are rethinking processes to deal with the shallow labor pool. Many have discovered alternate ways to attract and retain workers for their independent restaurant—principally by offering a positive, well-run and employee-centric environment—and many are also turning to pre-made pizza products to do more with the staff they do have.

Here are five tips for cultivating a pizzeria culture that’s a magnet for quality employees, and running an operation that’s the most efficient possible:

Focus your efforts

Limit your menu offerings to those dishes you make exceptionally well or that are unique to your restaurant. This gives you the opportunity to thoroughly train your kitchen staff on preparation and waitstaff in selling these items, providing confidence and preventing frustration or burnout.

Cross train

Providing opportunities for front of the house staff to learn back of the house duties and vice versa lets employees gain an appreciation for each other’s contributions and pain points, fosters collaboration and can encourage tip-sharing. It also is a great way to leverage downtime for training and increase potential for shift covering.

Be reasonably flexible

Staff scheduling can be a sticking point in the food industry and, understandably, not all conflicts can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. However, implementing a scheduling system that accommodates staff requests the majority of the time will demonstrate that you value your employees’ time both on and off the clock.

Be sincere and reward

Your team works hard, and stellar efforts deserve to be recognized. Reward them for a job well done with things like giving out gift cards for fuel or groceries, organizing a picnic,holiday party or team outing, or employee of the month parking spot.  Even if you don’t have a full-blown rewards system in place, a sincere compliment backed with genuine enthusiasm can go a long way to keeping morale—and employee loyalty—high.

Leverage pre-made crust, dough ball and sauce options

Cutting prep time doesn’t mean cutting quality. Pre-made crusts, pre-portioned dough balls and pre-mixed sauces from the experts at Alive & Kickin’ Pizza Crust help you reallocate limited labor and manage the bottom line by:

  • Reducing the number of staff required to make pizzas to ensure efficient team member utilization and minimal per-pie labor costs
  • Maintaining consistency in pizza preparation so training and service is uniform and economical across locations
  • Controlling food costs so there’s more money in the budget for attracting and compensating quality employees

For more insights on building and keeping a team of enthusiastic brand advocates even when labor shortages abound in the industry, download Tips for Hiring the Right Staff for Your Restaurant. Click the button below to get your free copy now!

Tips for Hiring the right Restaurant Staff

Categories: General Operations

Dan Pecha

Written by Dan Pecha

Pizzeria Consultant