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Financing

A debate on the long-term impact of the labor challenge on restaurants

Will the labor shortage prove worse for the industry than the pandemic? RB editors Jonathan Maze and Peter Romeo debate that question on the “A Deeper Dive” podcast.

Just how bad is the labor shortage?

In this episode of the RB podcast “A Deeper Dive,” I debate with Editor-at-Large Peter Romeo about that very topic.

Restaurants have been dealing with one of the worst shortages of labor in history, with many locations shortening hours or reducing services because they do not have enough workers. Operators are paying much higher wage rates and they’re paying more for benefits than they ever had.

Romeo in a recent column argued that these challenges will ultimately prove worse than the pandemic on the industry, citing the closures and a potential long-term loss of workers.

Yet I argue that the issue will ultimately prove better for the industry by forcing it to improve efficiency and employee retention, which will improve operations in the long-term.

Who is right? Check out this week’s episode and find out.

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