The Rush by Toast - October 11

By: Isabelle Hahn and Chelsea Verstegen

5 Minute Read

Oct 11, 2019

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We cover notable happenings in the industry every week on The Rush. This week's coverage includes how to keep restaurant employees engaged on the job, updates in the world of nutrition science, and why your employees may be unhappy. 

⏳ Here's what you need to know about this week's restaurant trends in 10 seconds or less:

  • Only 34% of the U.S. workforce is engaged on the job, according to a Gallop poll.
  • Scientists dispel the rumor that steak is bad for you...probably.
  • A recent survey revealed that restaurant industry workers are less happy than employees in other industries.

⏰ If you have more time:

Employee Engagement Helps Employee Retainment 

  • Employee engagement is essential for smooth business operation, but only 34% of the U.S. workforce is engaged on the job.
  • Technology may be the answer to low workforce engagement.

Employee engagement in any sector is the key to running an efficient workplace, but there are steps restaurant managers can take to make sure their staff feels engaged in the day-to-day chaos of the restaurant industry.

Only 34% of the U.S. workforce is engaged on the job, according to a Gallop poll. For the hospitality industry, this can result in dropping the ball with customers - since genuine customer interactions come from engaging with your customers.

Modern Restaurant Management recommends adding technology to your operations in order to have a positive impact on employee engagement: “Technologies make communicating with employees and servicing guests more efficient. Technology can also help employees not only deliver the best product, but also help enhance the guest experience."

Technology can help boost employee engagement in four key ways:

  1. Self-service scheduling software that allows for collaboration.

  2. Metrics that track customer service performance and reliability to recognize and reward performance.

  3. Digital resources that supplement in-person training and help retention. 

  4. Digital platforms that have analytics to transform employee insight into actionable change.

Bring on the Steak...or Not. 

  • Four new studies show no compelling evidence between red meat and heart disease or cancer. 
  • While wildly debated, nutrition science has never been exact. 

Odds are that you’ve heard that eating too much red meat is bad for you - just like too much of anything is bad for you - but red meat is an especially terrible, no good, very bad thing. Historically, eating red meat has been linked to heart diseases and cancer. 

But that could be changing. 

Good news for steak lovers - the authors of four new studies reported that there is no compelling evidence that reducing red meat consumption benefits your health in any way. 

Before you go stock up on your red and processed meats or adding 10 different beef dishes to your menu, you should know that there are still many scientists and public health researchers who are fiercely criticizing this new study and its methodology. Nutrition science continues to be complicated, and it seems that trends in restaurant menu items come around as often as nutritional suggestions. 

What’s Got You Down?

  • A recent survey has concluded that restaurant employees are less happy and less financially fit than the average employee.
  • Money isn't the only thing employees are looking for to turn that frown upside down.

A survey by Salary Finance has revealed that restaurant industry workers rate 21% less happy and 36% less financially fit than other industry employees. Another study found that routine uncertainty in work schedules is “even more predictive” of worker well-being than hourly wages.

Workplace dissatisfaction is apparent in the rampant restaurant industry turnover rate, but that doesn’t mean it should be normalized. The food and drink sector has the ability to focus more on their employees if they choose to. But how?

Of course, an industry notorious for low pay and long hours could benefit employees by raising wages. But that’s not the only way to show your employees that they are valued. 

7Shifts surveyed nearly 2,000 restaurant industry professionals to find out what determines their workplace happiness. The results were that employees that were an 8/10 on a happiness scale valued positive recognition, training, workplace technology, communication, management, and coworkers the most. Though more money was the highest vote for what would make their workplace happiness a 10/10, that’s not always an option for every restaurant. More management recognition, better training, and more schedule flexibility also affect an employee’s happiness at work, and may be easier to accomplish. 

Considering the substantial negative effects of worker stress on employee productivity, there are also mental health options that you can offer employees to show them they are important to you and your business. Starbucks will soon offer pretty comprehensive mental health benefits to all employees, as they understand the importance of employees’ mental wellbeing. 

Why These Trends May Impact Your Restaurant Operations

  • Employee engagement: Your priorities in the restaurant industry center on delighting your guests, which is easy to accomplish when you have a well-rounded, focused, dependable staff. Keep your employees motivated and engaged to keep your customers coming to your establishment. For other suggestions on engaging employees, check out this article

  • To steak or not to steak: This is a constant battle restaurant owners and chefs have to consider: Do you follow a food trend or maintain business as usual? The answer to that question changes (and should), because your consumers are constantly changing. But it is important to keep up with the latest and greatest in food news and studies, because you’re researching your client base at the same time. Check out our 2019 Success Report for more insights on trends and running a successful restaurant.

  • Sad service: If your employees are unhappy, chances are they won’t stick around long. Give your employees a reason to smile by creating an environment of mutual respect and understanding (offering higher wages or benefits won’t hurt either). For more ways to please your staff, check out this article.


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