5 tips to ease staff shortage
1. Minimize your menu
A large menu requires more labor to handle, prep and cook. Review your menu and try to slim it down until you are no longer understaffed. Keep the most popular dishes and ditch the items that are not ordered so often and the ones that require extensive prepping and cooking. Consider other ways to optimize your menu. Maybe there are good pre-cooked soups or sauces you can use temporarily until the staffing situation is under control.
2. Cross-train your staff
High turnover of employees or even the occasional sick day can really turn the work environment in a kitchen chaotic. Rotation is an excellent way to avoid this, as it ensures that more staff have similar or the same skills, and can easily cover for each other in case of sick leave, transitions, or vacancies. It also makes your employees’ day more varied and fun, making them more likely to stick around for longer.
3. Reduce capacity and hours
Even if it's anyone’s least favorite and perhaps last resort, it might be worth considering limiting the number of tables and seats in your restaurant – even if just for a short time. Close or remove the less desirable ones and keep your most popular tables open. Also, consider the number of hours of your operation. Identify the most profitable hours and keep these open. That way you will manage to keep the service at a high level even though you are understaffed and keep customer complaints at a minimum.