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Gig Workers Could Keep Your Restaurant Staffed During A Labour Shortage

Gig Workers Could Keep Your Restaurant Staffed During A Labour Shortage

The labour shortage is costing you money, time, and customers. If you are struggling to fill waiting positions and spending your time looking for a reliable team to service your customers— there’s a better way.

Sue Power
October 20, 2022

Food delivery was a crucial revenue stream for restaurant owners during COVID-19 lockdowns, and for some, remains to be a significant portion of income even after reopening their doors. However, many restaurants that survived the pandemic are now facing a new crisis, which is forcing them to rethink how they operate their businesses and manage their workforce once again.

Inflation is having a devastating impact on the hospitality sector in the UK. A Recent report by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young has revealed that over 64% of the UK’s top 100 restaurants are now making a loss amid worker shortages and the cost of living crisis, which has forced customers to cut back on spending. 

Moreover, recent figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown that the hospitality sector currently has a record number of 174,000 job vacancies. These figures indicate a danger to the industry as more of the younger members of the workforce look to higher-paid jobs in order to afford to live during periods of high inflation. This prompts the question; what can be done to recruit and retain staff during this crisis? 

Concerned restaurant owners struggling to fill waiting positions are looking for a reliable team of staff to service their customers. The gig economy is commonly associated with delivery drivers. But what if the future of cafe and restaurant staff are shifts covered by flexible staff? 

Stepping outside our own vertical of gig work for delivery drivers, we recently partnered with 1 Plus Security to connect them with hundreds of flexible event stewards and security staff for the back-to-back summer of concerts - all trained and ready for work - to huge success. This got us thinking about what other struggling industries could benefit from accessing flexible workers.

New and emerging hiring platforms aim to help operators tap into this part-time workforce in a more efficient way, narrowing the pool to focus on candidates with the right skills and qualifications. Some platforms cater to multiple industries, but restaurant-specific platforms have also started to emerge to cope with this issue. 

Outsourcing from gig economy platforms provides work opportunities to people who want greater autonomy over their professional life, and a more flexible working schedule which combined, are more likely to help the businesses retain a reliable pool of workers and are more likely to contribute to the success, performance and profitability of the business. 

Freelance gig workers allow you to respond to market needs and demands, as they happen. They are often accustomed to working in different locations, with different personalities, for varied periods of time. Freelancers are by their very nature self-motivated and organised individuals, so you could be pleasantly surprised as to how effective these workers could be for you, while also allowing you to evaluate whether you have a real need for a full-time employee instead. This, in turn, will contribute to a better organisational structure for the restaurant during busy parts of the year while maximising margin when things are quieter.

The gig economy has a wide vertical application in industries where there is high demand and low supply of workers, such as hospitality. Past concerns around bad pay, unfair working practices, a lack of health benefits or work protections were good cause for many business owners not considering gig workers for their business. In addition to that, there simply wasn’t an easy way to tap into this community of workers. That has changed, and as the gig economy continues to grow at an astonishing rate - with up to 7 million gig workers now estimated to be working in the UK - the time has come for more businesses to harness the strength of the gig economy to truly solve this worker crisis.

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Gig Workers Could Keep Your Restaurant Staffed During A Labour Shortage

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