Restaurant industry due for a major revamp?
In my neck of the woods, there's reportedly been a shortage of workers in the SW part of the country where restaurant owners cannot find enough staff to be open every day, and supposedly for every 4 people leaving the restaurant industry only 3 new workers come to replace them.
So the article above confirms this is nation wide (or maybe some sort of pandering to loosen TFW rules (I believe the labour shortage is there because the restaurateurs cannot find enough people to work only because of the crappy wages and working hours they are offering). My personal belief is that people have better things to do than work in restaurants anyway.
So caught between customers only willing to pay so much and workers only willing to work for so little is better productivity the key?
I personally think the tipping system leads to vast inefficiencies in dining room staffing with wait staff having to pander to and fuss over customers in order to gets the tips and then having support (such as the bussers to offer water and take away finished plates.) More than a few places have reduced waiting by requiring customers order at the counter and often pick up too.
I like the French model of career salaried, efficient staff (IIRC, Hy's restaurants used to work on this model in past decades) where, except at really high end restaurants, you're seated with menu and given a bottle of tap water to serve yourself if asked, and waits staff comes up at an appropriate time and simply asks you (in fewer words) whether you have chosen. No further fussing such as "how are those first bites?" These restaurants are also generally closed for 1-2 days a week so the first line staff is always on duty and you don't get A B, C or even D and lower teams.
There's at least one very good restaurant in my area that seems to be doing this. Open just 4 days a week and only for dinner. Dishes are kept simple with a selection of 4 per course. The premises are in some real backwater though.
A few issues that I think might be incompatible is high rents at least in certain markets, and diners being too fussy (need a wide variety of dishes, more than a small cadre in an efficient kitchen can put out).