7 Tips to Help You Conquer Today’s Hospitality Staffing Crisis

Oct 21, 2021
7 Tips to Help You Conquer Today’s Hospitality Staffing Crisis

The staffing crisis in the hospitality industry continues to make headlines.  Employers are impacted, employees are impacted, consumers are impacted.


So increase wages ... right?  


We’ve seen the average hourly rate increasing in recent months for a few reasons.

  1. Employers need to hire new staff to support customer demand returning after COVID lock downs, quarantines, downsizing and lay-offs.
  2. With the mass exodus of employees associated with the great resignation there is additional hiring need to replace employees. 
  3. In parallel employers need to focus on retaining employees who may be tempted by the great resignation.
  4. Earlier this year there was a concerted effort to compete with unemployment benefits.  


Meanwhile, as wages are going up ... prices are also going up.  Those wages don’t go as far as they used to. 

And staffing is still an issue. 

It’s not just about wages. 



So, in the face of increased wages, hiring bonuses and retention bonuses, why are employees leaving jobs, not returning to jobs, and not taking the jobs you have available?  And based on the answer to that question, what can be done to attract and retain great employees?


Why are they leaving/ not returning/ not applying/ not showing up? 

  • Safety concerns – COVID, mask and/ or vaccine requirements, enforcing COVID guidelines with customers. 
  • Customers are also coming out of a pandemic.   Tippers aren’t as generous as they were pre-COVID.
  • Your brand could not be appealing to candidates, bad word of mouth from current and former employees. 
  • Bitterness over the impact of their downsizing/ lay-off experience.
  • There are better options!   Looking at changing industries. 
  • Time and space allowed for reflection, employees realized they worked for a boss or in a culture didn’t value them – life is too short!


What can be done?

  • Offer perks specific for your region and employee demographic (e.g. childcare, schedule flexibility, remote work options)
  • Conduct “stay interviews”.  Ask what will make employees happier.   Ask why they would consider leaving.  Listen and take action. 
  • Promote what makes you a unique employer.  
  • Focus on your organization’s culture and work environment. Find the fun!
  • Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.  This is a recipe for turnover!


What's Your Employer Brand?

Every employer has a brand.  Just like your company has a brand and reputation for the goods and services you provide to customers … you have a brand and reputation as an employer. 

Do you know what your brand is?  You definitely have one.  Have you looked up your company on Glassdoor lately?   If you haven’t been intentional about your brand, you lose control of what people think and say about you as an employer.  You've likely heard “if you don’t make a decision, you’ve already made a decision”.  Same applies here.  If you aren’t intentional about establishing an employer brand – you still have one, you just don’t control the narrative. 

Are you confident that your brand as an employer really addresses the needs of your current and prospective employees? 


7 tips to help you IMMEDIATELY get ahead
of the staffing crisis impacting your business

  1. Understand your current brand as an employer – the good, the bad, the ugly.
  2. Determine what’s REALLY important to your employees and candidates. Stop guessing!
  3. Establish an employer brand that speaks to the current reality.
  4. Integrate your brand consistently across all employee and hiring communication channels.
  5. Align operating and leadership practices with the new brand.
  6. Eliminate practices that are in conflict with your employer brand.   
  7. Establish a feedback loop to ensure the brand remains relevant.


Find more tips on how to recruit, retain and utilize your employees in my blog How to Continue Growing Your Business During The Great Resignation of 2021



Many of us are frustrated as customers at the staffing issue in the hospitality industry.  But you are living it day in and day out.  You are struggling to meet your current needs and support your growth. 


Have your training costs gone up?  Is your check average down?  Are your customer service ratings falling?  Has your volume/ capacity dipped?


What's Next?

If this sounds all too familiar and you are struggling with staffing then it’s impacting your financial results … if you are looking for someone to walk along side of you to increase hiring, decrease turnover and improve employee engagement – we should talk!  I’d love to be your partner in developing an employer brand, making that brand promise and then delivering on that promise. Schedule a complimentary Employee Engagement Strategy Session where we will talk about actionable steps you can take to turn things around.


Let’s do this!


About Me:  I'm Heather Havey and being an integrator is in my DNA.  My consulting business helps visionary leaders bring their big ideas to implemented reality.   I’m passionate about efficiency and business transformation, and I will empower you to accelerate the achievement of your big goals.   I offer customized, no-nonsense, real-world solutions designed to position you as the hero in the reinvention of your business.    

Check out options for how we may be able to work together at https://www.heatherhaveyconsulting.com/services .  

And if you think you could benefit from having an expert partner with real-world, action-oriented change solutions that will absolutely work, let’s chat.  In your free strategy session, we’ll get those ideas out of the clouds and onto the road to results.  Schedule a complimentary strategy session to talk about bringing your vision to life.


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