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We're open! Now What?

Here we are, over a year after the country shut down and millions lost their lively-hood, if even for a short time. States are opening, which means so are your restaurant doors, creating a whole new world of challenges. Unemployment continues to be up. Front and back of the house are experiencing unprecedented staffing shortages. Wondering if your order is coming in and what you'll have to scramble to get has become the norm. You're open, so now what do you do?

Well, we've done a lot of reading, research and keeping our ears to the industry's heart beat. The good news is that you are not alone and there is hope on the horizon. It may mean you have to step outside your comfort zone - and that's ok! Take a look at some of the ideas being used around the industry.

Hiring & Maintaining

* Digital recruitment - placing hiring ads on sites such as Indeed, Zip Recruiter and Monster. Don't forget about social media and the reach it has. Post your openings on your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and ask employees to share.

* Incentives - Many companies are offering cash or items for scheduling and showing up to an interview. If that is more than you can offer, start with a free meal for coming in. If hired and stays past probation, another incentive is given.

* Referrals - nothing is better than the word of mouth. Your current employees are a pool in which to "dive" into for quality candidates, reward your employees for their referrals that make the cut both upon hire and after probation.

* Benefits - this can be competitive wages, increased benefits, or more subtle as creating an atmosphere and culture where employees feel valued and open share their feedback. Get creative and partner with other local companies to offer discounts for your and their employees, i.e. gyms, boutiques, daycares and other restaurants.

Distribution & Cost Issues

* Get creative - what can you put together with what you have? It may not sound ideal but it gives way to trying something new in the kitchen.

* Use Local Companies - Purchase meats and produce from local farms.

* Save with a program - Yup, we mean us, The Restaurant Society. We offer the most robust cost-savings program and never ask you to sacrifice quality or service. We are in the business of helping the independent restaurateur. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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