Q3 Workforce Index reveals sustained recruiting, turnover challenges in restaurants

Ron Ruggless | Oct 22, 2018  Nations Restaurant News

Recruiting remains a challenge for restaurants, and the third-quarter People Report Workforce Index registers how wide and deep the difficulty is.

“We’ve seen sustained levels for the past two or three years that we hadn’t seen in a decade or more,” said Michael Harms, vice president of operations at Dallas-based TDn2K, which produces the People Report Workforce Index quarterly.

“The percentage of companies reporting difficulty is high,” Harms said. “People are saying it’s almost impossible to staff a restaurant these days.”

The national unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in September, the lowest level since 1969, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, the gross domestic product continued to rise from its 4.1 percent growth in the second quarter.

“The demand for workers sparked by this economic growth and low unemployment has resulted in a shortage of quality employees and record high turnover rates as workers are presented with more employment opportunities,” the third-quarter Workforce Index noted. “Barring a change to the macroeconomic environment, labor pressures are expected to remain high with increasing wage pressures posing an added complication.”

Harms said the People Report spent the past year revising the Workforce Index, which started in 2006 and measures expected market pressure on restaurant employment and is based on surveys of restaurant industry human resources departments and recruiters.

The Workforce Index now has a baseline value of 0 and ranges from -100 to +100. Values over 0 indicate increased levels of that component, and the strength of each value is measured by its distance from 0. An overall index value is calculated as a weighted average of the five components, including employment levels, recruiting difficulty, job vacancies, employment expectation and turnover.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, the overall Workforce Index registered a value of +26.9, indicating moderate increases in labor pressure.

Recruiting pressure seems to be highest in the quick-service segment, Harm said.

“They really are struggling to find staff,” Harms said. “It’s across the industry, but we really are seeing the struggle in QSR.”

At the hourly level, the turnover comparison remains significant across the segments, he said. It’s significant across most segments.

“Casual dining and upscale fine dining scored a little lower in the quarter,” Harm said. “Casual dining is in a tough spot. When it comes to competition, they are taking fire from upscale; they are taking fire from fast casual. They are surrounded by two of the industry darlings, and we’re seeing that in the demand for employees.”

Overall, Harms added, it remains difficult to find employees for all segments of the restaurant industry, a trend that has continued since post-recession labor pressures began about five years ago.

“Those challenges don’t seem to be going away any time soon,” he said. “This is the longest period of sustained labor pressures we have tracked.”

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • I would like to start off by saying that Mike did a great job. He is very passionate about what he does, and he is very good at it. He stayed in constant contact with me, he made sure i was 100% prepared for the interview process and everything. I don’t usually work with recruiters, but this time i am extremely happy i did. Thank you to Mike, and Patrice & Associates for all the hard work you guys put forth! I will make sure i send more people your way. Thanks again Mike, it was a pleasure working with you!   Sean Williams-Mitchell USMC Veteran Thank you to Mike, and Patrice & Associates for all the hard work you guys put forth!
  • I recently worked with Sherri Balzer in conjunction with a management opportunity with IHOP. She was extremely professional throughout the entire process. In addition, she was very helpful and knowledgeable about the company and interview process. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a new job opportunity to consider Sherri Balzer for all their needs.   Read Mullin I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a new job opportunity to consider Sherri Balzer for all their needs. 
  • Stephanie Yee is a great part of my journey with California Fish Grill. We came across each other via LinkedIn and started a professional relationship. Not only she told me about the great opportunity with CFG, she also gave me info and reading materials about company and helped me built confidence before my interview. Lorie Santos-Law Assistant. General Manager California Fish Grill Stephanie Yee is a great part of my journey with California Fish Grill.
  • Stephanie reached out to me at a time when I was thinking about looking for a new job but was not quite sure where to begin. From our first call together she was professional and friendly. We talked a lot about my current position, previous jobs and what I was looking for in the future. From our conversations she made a new resume for me that was specific to Susiecakes. Stephanie was always on top things communicating with Susiecakes as well as myself. She was always easy to reach via phone, texts, and emails. Furthermore it really felt like Stephanie was on my side and wanted what was best for me. She listened to my concerns and negotiated on my behalf. In the end I was hired in a position that I think will be beneficial for both myself and Susiecakes. Even after I started my job a work text was accidentally sent to her and she promptly sent it to me. Still looking out for me even after I received the job. I have since referred her to an old coworker and am certain that she will find them a great job as well. I will continue to recommend to Stephanie Yee to only the best culinary professionals that I know. Sincerely, Andrew From our first call together she was professional and friendly.
  • From the initial interview, Helen was very thorough and spent time getting to know my background and experience. She was detailed in her delivery of the opportunity, and confirmed the dates and times for follow up. Her open line of communication made the process easy and enjoyable. From our initial conversation to the signed job offer, Helen shared in my excitement! I am so grateful to her, and Patrice and Associates for fitting me with this amazing opportunity. Christina Russillo I am so grateful to Helen and Patrice and Associates for fitting me with this amazing opportunity. 
Skip to toolbar