Labor Pains


Restaurants' labor situation has improved, but it's far from perfect

The industry has regained workers, and more operators are likely to say they’re fully staffed. But labor is more expensive. Retention remains a key stressor. And jobs have moved.


Menu shrinkage is out. Customized, labor-saving menu strategies move in

Cross-training, chef-driven speed-scratch ingredients and operational shortcuts help meet back-of-house labor challenges post-pandemic without sacrificing innovation.

The industry has a number of initiatives underway to pull more potential hires into the field. But the setback of the pandemic and the need for scale are deferring the payoff.