RESTAURANTS FORCED TO REDUCE HOURS
Surging cases of the Omicron variant and continued labor shortages, are forcing major chains to reduce their hours. McDonald’s, Starbucks, Del Taco, Chipotle and Shake Shack, just to name a few, have been reaching out to their customers informing them of reduced hours and services. Store hours have been cut back by an average of 10-15% –hours and service reductions vary on a store-to-store basis.
Minimum wage increases have caused labor cost percentages to creep up a couple of points. Restaurants have tried to pass on some of these costs onto the customer, but current inflationary trends have caused the customer to become a lot more price sensitive.
While a reduction in operating hours is allowing for lower labor costs, its efficacy on labor cost percentages is still not known. How will this affect sales, and will this cause long-term changes in customer buying habits? We must however remember that these changes are not being done out of choice, they are a reaction and an adaption to the current labor crises.
Bottom line is the hospitality and foodservice industry is on the frontline of industries being effected by the pandemic, and they need help, and creative help from associations, cities, counties and states.
In an effort to get creative and supportive, the California Restaurant Association (CRA) Fresno Chapter, is promoting Restaurant Week, $20.22, January 21-30, 2022. This 10-day promotion for local restaurants is a collaborative marketing campaign where all offers or menus must be priced at $20.22. Falina Marihart, from 13 Prime Steak, who is a CRA Fresno Chapter Board Member, came up with this unique idea. She said, “January is a slow time for restaurants, so any added exposure really helps.” She went on to say that the labor shortage is definitely effecting restaurants in Fresno, and she has had to give raises and time off, to get their staff to be more “sticky” as she put it.
For more information visit www.dineoutfresnocounty.com
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