15 Ways to Solve the Labor Crunch

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restaurant labor shortage crunch manager


Article contributed by David “Rev” Ciancio

How to Hire Faster, Recruit Stronger Employees and Retain Them Longer Without Going Broke On Wages


The Coronavirus pandemic continues to throw a spanner into the restaurant business, especially in hiring and maintaining a labor force. With government support being paid out many people have chosen to sit home and collect unemployment instead of returning to the workforce. Additionally, competitive wages are seeing a lot of people switching between employers, and even industries, for different rates of pay or conditions.

But restaurant operators are resilient. Rolling with the punches and constant adaption is par for the course in this industry. People love to eat at restaurants and operators love being hospitable so the drive is there to figure things out for everyone’s benefit. Many restaurants have increased their base wages, added signing bonuses as well as additional perks. As an example, chains like McDonald’s are starting to roll out child care. With a labor shortage, increased wages, decreased foot traffic, product inflation and more, there is a lot of stress on restaurant operators to find new ways to maximize their business to be profitable.

When my friends at Ovation, an incredible software company that helps restaurants get feedback and open direct communication with their guests, asked me if I would collaborate with them to come up with ways that restaurants can best the labor crunch, I immediately said yes.

I love restaurants, I love the business and I do all that I do to help elevate the industry to create incredible experiences for consumers. I’m here to help you.

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  • Imperial Dade
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  • McKee Foods

Together we gathered up some incredible tips and suggestions (found at https://ovationup.com/help-with-hiring/), 15 of them to be exact, from incredible thought leaders and experts from around the restaurant industry that can help inspire changes in your branding, your communication and your operation that will help you to hire faster, build stronger and retain employees longer.

You’ll find powerful ideas from:

  • Eric Bam of Perfect Crust Pizza Liners
  • Bruce Irving of Smart Pizza Marketing
  • Ken McGarrie, Author, Founder of Korgen Hospitality
  • Fred Glick, President at Amergent Hospitality Group
  • Ryan Gromfin, Owner of The Restaurant Boss
  • Derek Williamson, President at HigherMe
  • Joe DeSimone, Former Business Development and Recruiting Manager at Source One Hospitality
  • And more!

Here is one of my favorite ideas and an example of what you’ll find when you check it out:  Emphasize what you can do for job candidates in job postings rather than what you’ll get out of them. That’s what they care about. — Bruce Irving, Owner of Smart Pizza Marketing

These tips are not your run of the mill ideas like increase wages or add a signing bonus, we assume this a practice you’ve already seen others doing and are doing yourself. We went deeper.

We are suggesting you look inside your business and ask:

  • What makes my employees want to work here?
  • What is it about being a part of this team that is special?
  • What do my team members gain while helping to fuel this business?
  • Who do they become as a result of their time with us?

Answering these questions will put you in a frame of mind to be more effective, to attract better, to keep people longer and motivate them and you to be more incredible.

So please, go check out the video compilation we created as well as a checklist of the tips on Ovation’s website. You’ll also find links under each person’s lists of suggestions if you want to hear the full interviews with more details and ideas for you to incorporate into your business. All the best to you!


David Rev CiancioDavid “Rev” Ciancio is a former New York City bar owner and knows exactly how hard it is to operate and brand a hospitality business.

He is now a hospitality marketing consultant, customer and technology evangelist with more than 20 years experience in B2B digital marketing and business development, specializing in hospitality marketing, content, local SEO, reputation management and influencer marketing. He helps technology companies, brands and restaurants to acquire and retain customers. Rev is known as an “expert burger taster,” pens hospitality and marketing tips on his Instagram @revciancio, as well as his LinkedIn Profile. He believes that Pizza is a religion. Learn more at https://bit.ly/followersorders

  • Atosa USA
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • Imperial Dade
  • Easy Ice
  • Day & Nite
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • RAK Porcelain
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • McKee Foods
  • Inline Plastics
  • RATIONAL USA