For operators, labor costs remain a huge concern

This is driving up wages. Average hourly earnings in the leisure and hospitality industries over the past 12 months have increased by 4.2 percent, according to federal data. That’s higher than the 3.4 percent, overall rate. The higher wages are leading restaurants to raise prices despite falling commodity costs which, coming as grocery stores have lowered prices, has been suggested as an excuse for weak sales in recent months. Many operators believe that investing in recruiting is vital at a time when consumers are fickle, sales are hard to find, and good workers are scarce.

Key Takeaways:

  • Much of the optimism stems from the election, said Steve Crichlow, a former franchisee turned consultant who works with numerous operators.
  • Operators’ biggest concern, by far, was over labor-related issues.
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, one of the biggest areas of investment for operators heading into 2017 is on recruiting and training.

“Average hourly earnings in the leisure and hospitality industries over the past 12 months have increased by 4.2 percent, according to federal data.”

http://www.nrn.com/data-research/operators-labor-costs-remain-huge-concern

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