The food and restaurant industry has been hugely impacted over the past few years. Local Data Company projected that about 11.4% of chain restaurants would close in 2020, and even Gordon Ramsay’s London restaurants have lost as much as £5.1 million. Multiple factors are responsible for these closures, the pandemic, inflation, and staff shortages.

While the first two factors are out of your control, you can still find solutions to manage and even avoid staff shortages. So if you want to expand or maintain your food business, you need to start investing in your business’ human capital.

Is it Time to Start Investing in Your Staff?

Given the current skills shortage, growing your business may seem very difficult. The WTTC revealed that there are 130,000 job vacancies within the hotel and restaurant industry, making it hard for restaurants to attend to customers' needs. To keep up with the demand amid this shortage, experts recommend that restaurants address the talent gap by reskilling and upskilling their staff.

Reskilling programs expand current employees' skill sets so they can adjust to new or vacant positions. Meanwhile, upskilling programmes teach employees new skills that can improve their performance within their current roles. This may sound like a big investment, but these programmes allow businesses to meet customer or industry standards or even further develop senior staff that understand the needs and processes of the business. By investing in your staff, you can offer higher quality goods and services to your consumers and pull in more sales.

Tips for Reskilling and Upskilling Your Staff

Invest in staff educational opportunities

Now that restaurants are struggling with staff shortages, chief executive Kate Nicholls of UK Hospitality urges entrepreneurs and managers to invest in training and skills development for their employees. Offering these programmes creates staff who are not only competent but can excel in their roles. Since upskilling and reskilling programmes can be tailored to our business needs, you can ensure that your staff can offer quality service consistently.

Foster a culture of growth in your business

Employees are motivated to do better if they feel connected to a business, especially if you value their career growth.

Unfortunately, an article on internal development by LHH revealed that only 31% of non-managerial staff believe that leaders are willing to invest in their upskilling and reskilling. Instead of looking externally for senior-level professionals, food businesses can establish talent mobility opportunities for employees. These special projects are great for their careers and the business. You can gain support from your employees, grow your business, boost staff retention, loyalty, and knowledge base.

Turn learning into a two-way process

It’s no easy feat to manage a growing business, so you should also reskill your managers and yourself. Our article on the ‘5 Top Tips for Better Kitchen Management’ highlights that you and your managers should take management skills courses to improve efficiency both in and out of the kitchen. You can also take mentorship programmes from experienced food entrepreneurs. After all, the food industry is rapidly changing, and you will need to reskill to keep up with industry developments. The capabilities of your staff can greatly affect your business’ growth and success. By investing in reskilling and upskilling your employees, you can navigate staff shortages and emerge on the other side with the best talent to impress your customers and take your business to the next level.

Written By

Naya Matson.