Food & Drink

Restaurant industry due for a major revamp?

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  • Jan 20th, 2020 12:59 pm
[OP]
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SW corner of the cou…

Restaurant industry due for a major revamp?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/busines ... n-we-turn/

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).
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Could it be that people are preferring to be home in the evenings compared to being at work? Besides, here people are too fussy, demanding etc then you got the allergic crowd as well, etc

I know i wanna be home in evenings. Morning/Daytime for work. Whereas the resto business is mostly running on dinners...not a surprise that perhaps not many wanna do afternoon shifts

Cost of living has increased here, add the carbontax shit to that and everything is getting expensive. While wages haven’t kept up. Eventually they’ll all meet same fate.

Alot of these restaurants cant or wont cater to religious restrictions (kosher, hindu, veggie, halal, etc) so u lose customers in big numbers . Not blaming them but they’ve excluded already a big chunk of gta populations
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playnicee1 wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 10:09 pm
Check out the Taco Bell wages:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/taco-b ... -1.5422190
That's good for managers. Everyone else getting min. wage. Whether it's Tim's, KFC, McD's, all the same fate. Essentially killing the state of middle class. More for upper class and the poor stay poor in very unaffordable times in a big city. Pushing the poor to have to inevitably settle in remote, boring parts of the country in order to survive and develop more communities around the country.
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Strafe1 wrote:
Jan 11th, 2020 3:20 am
That's good for managers. Everyone else getting min. wage. Whether it's Tim's, KFC, McD's, all the same fate. Essentially killing the state of middle class. More for upper class and the poor stay poor in very unaffordable times in a big city. Pushing the poor to have to inevitably settle in remote, boring parts of the country in order to survive and develop more communities around the country.
Managers getting between $20,000 and $50,000 more than what the job used to pay. Something has to pay for that.
Too bad the Taco Bell locations that had a liquor licence had to close. (ie Queen street location)
Wishful thinking suggests that beer IS the way to pay for higher wages...you'd think that WOULD be the case.
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The solution to a labour shortage is never to increase wages.

In fact, they really should be lowered further and employees should take handshakes and smiles as form of payment.
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renoldman wrote:
Jan 11th, 2020 1:24 pm
The solution to a labour shortage is never to increase wages.

In fact, they really should be lowered further and employees should take handshakes and smiles as form of payment.
Yup. It's stupid to think higher wages can solve problem of insufficient workers. Paying more won't create more supply of workers.

We need to increase supply via increase population growth especially in working age population especially as our huge cohort of boomers are retiring

Wages aren't the problem, lack of workers are. If there's only 10 qualified workers but need is for 20. Paying more is just robbing Peter to pay Paul. Paying more won't make 10 additional workers required appear. We need to make or import them
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We need more vending machines with hot food.
Last edited by coriolis on Jan 13th, 2020 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tipping has always been a scam. The only reason it even exists is an an excuse for people in the US to not pay black people fair wages for their labour: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story ... ast-227361

Restaurants these days aren't paying their workers enough, and stories of rampant wage theft and illegal labour practices that aren't dealt with by the government send giant, clear signals to anyone who'd work in that industry. Kitchen staff especially aren't paid enough for their skills, and the rampant drug abuse and harsh working conditions mean it's a bottom-of-the-barrel job for those who have nowhere else to go. You don't choose to put up with Gordon Ramsay types unless you're also going to end up a multi-millionaire in under a decade.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
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Squirrel99 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2020 12:56 pm
Rampant drug abuse?
If you've ever worked in a restaurant you'll know it. Kitchen staff are under tons of pressure and get paid and treated like absolute garbage, and a general culture of drug use (hard and soft), smoking, and alcoholism has been prevalent in the restaurant industry for decades now. Most of them are encouraged to emulate straight up ***holes like Ramsay's American TV persona as well, and would be unemployable in any other industry.

Every kitchen employee I've ever known has regularly escaped into something (alchohol, drugs, World of Warcraft, whatever) and is either divorced or had serious relationship problems due to the hours they work and the people they're around. Read this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/KitchenConfide ... e_kitchen/
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... don-ramsay
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/marion-ka ... 00645.html
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/20 ... ance-abuse
https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/24/health/c ... index.html
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
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thriftshopper wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 9:25 pm
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..
Would you agree that part of the problem is there's an oversaturation of almost identical restaurants, leading to this issue? Best example: there are WAY too many Tim Horton's and Subway franchises. So of course they can't all be profitable.
And then there's the category of restaurants I call McSysco Bar and Grill that all serve near-identical menus of frozen reheated foodservice shit. I'm referring to (let's see if I forget any): Kelsey's, Milestone's, Montana's, Prime Pubs, Bier Markt, Landing Group, Casey's, Pickle Barrel, Original Joe's, State and Main, Elephant and Castle, Moxie's, Jack Astor's, Scaddabush, Duke's, Canyon Creek, Earl's, Joey, Cactus Club, Cheesecake Factory (I'm not letting them get away!), Baton Rouge, Turtle Jack's, Crabby Joe's, Chuck's Roadhouse, Shoeless Joe's.....

On those points alone the industry is due for a major correction. Something's gotta give. Not enough workers to staff an oversaturated industry. It would be like if half the drivers on the road all signed up to drive for Uber. No way they all make money as there would be too many cars competing for the same business.
Piro21 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2020 1:01 pm
Kitchen staff are under tons of pressure and get paid and treated like absolute garbage, and a general culture of drug use (hard and soft), smoking, and alcoholism has been prevalent in the restaurant industry for decades now. Every kitchen employee I've ever known has regularly escaped into something (alcohol, drugs, World of Warcraft, whatever) and is either divorced or had serious relationship problems due to the hours they work and the people they're around. Read this:
+1 on that! Alcohol and drug abuse was one of the main themes of Anthony Bourdain's biographies -- not just himself but everybody around him. Go around back of any restaurant and there's usually somebody there smoking something.
[OP]
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SW corner of the cou…
StatsGuy wrote:
Jan 12th, 2020 7:43 pm
Wages aren't the problem, lack of workers are. If there's only 10 qualified workers but need is for 20. Paying more is just robbing Peter to pay Paul. Paying more won't make 10 additional workers required appear. We need to make or import them
That's what the (abusers) of the TFW program want: Distort market balance by bringing in TFWs that they can exploit rather than let interna market forces determine what is a sustainable level of employment in the restaurant industry. I think a lot need to close.

Also delays an inevitable need to restructure the industry. I like to see more restaurateurs having to actually work in their own restaurants. I've had an affinity for honest, family-owned and -operated outfits, and owner-operator places. I like the fact that (at least down south) owners that would otherwise be spending time on the golf course have to work in their (often fast-food) businesses because they can't find enough workers (at least for the wages they're willing to pay).
UrbanPoet wrote:
Jan 13th, 2020 12:29 pm
You need to run 7 days a week to make up for high rent & cost.
True enough, which is what makes assembling an "A team" for every dining shift difficult (see the threads about Chinese restaurants?)
Squirrel99 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2020 12:56 pm
Rampant drug abuse?
Piro21 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2020 1:01 pm
If you've ever worked in a restaurant you'll know it. Kitchen staff are under tons of pressure and get paid and treated like absolute garbage, and a general culture of drug use (hard and soft), smoking, and alcoholism has been prevalent in the restaurant industry for decades now. Most of them are encouraged to emulate straight up ***holes like Ramsay's American TV persona as well, and would be unemployable in any other industry.
That seems to have a grain of truth. In addition to pressure, a lot of physical and verbal abuse to keep output up. An extended and complicated menu doesn't help. As the potential workforce learns more about the truth of working in the industry, that's why few choose to join.

I think the industry needs downsizing and consolidation, and a vast overhaul on how the business is run.
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[OP]
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SW corner of the cou…
StatsGuy wrote:
Jan 12th, 2020 7:43 pm
Yup. It's stupid to think higher wages can solve problem of insufficient workers. Paying more won't create more supply of workers.
I think you missed a hint of sarcasm?

Wages aren't the problem, lack of workers are. If there's only 10 qualified workers but need is for 20. Paying more is just robbing Peter to pay Paul. Paying more won't make 10 additional workers required appear. We need to make or import
But you could get better, more productive employees.
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