There is a serious shortage of talented cooks in the restaurant industry, and it’s changing the way food service businesses are run. The places hardest-hit by the talent shortage are expensive metropolises like New York and San Francisco, which have seen cooks flee to cheaper cities to escape ever-climbing rents. The increased demand for high-quality restaurant food in cities that have not traditionally been dining hubs is also contributing to the dearth of qualified chefs.
For most of the history of the restaurant industry, cooks were seen as being infinitely replaceable. Many kitchens were run by tyrants who berated their staff, and low wages were the norm. Now that restaurant labor is more valuable, the collective power of cooks to negotiate better working conditions is much higher. Restaurant operators are having to think of novel ways to keep their employees loyal, and abusive managers are no longer tolerated in many kitchens.
The problem for restaurant operators is that restaurants are a very low margin business, so it can be hard to find ways to raise wages in order to attract talent. Some restaurants are finding alternative perks to increase employee loyalty, including yoga classes and mid-shift dodgeball games.
Read the full article here: Not Enough Cooks: Restaurant Industry Faces Talent Crisis