The Restaurant Industry Doesn’t have a Labor Problem, it has a Mediocre Restaurant Problem.

There is a common misconception that the restaurant industry is facing a labor shortage. Some owners and managers complain that they can’t find enough workers to staff their kitchens and dining rooms. They blame the pandemic, the unemployment benefits, the gig economy, or anything else they can think of.

But the truth is, we don’t have a labor problem. We have a mediocre restaurant problem.

The best-run, most successful restaurants don’t have labor issues. They have loyal, motivated, and skilled employees who love their jobs and their customers. They have a strong culture of excellence and accountability. Go to the busiest, most well-run, restaurants in your area and ask the manager if they have a labor problem. They will say NO!!!!!!!

The poorly run, slow restaurants have labor issues. They have high turnover, low morale, and poor performance. They have a weak culture of mediocrity and complacency. They are generally dirty, uninviting, and are always out of stock. Their managers don’t enforce any standards or hold their employees accountable because they believe, incorrectly, that those standards will cause employees to quit.

I recently attended the 2023 Restaurant Leadership Conference and during the Strategy Session one of the industry experts from the stage, stated, “The best employees have options and they only want to work at the best locations.” This is so true, and that is why even though it is counterintuitive for some managers, restaurants that have high standards and hold their teams accountable often have less turnover than their competitors who let the employees do whatever they want as long as they show up.

Employees want to work in clean, well-maintained, well-operated businesses they can be proud to work at, and more importantly would be proud to tell their friends and families about.

No one wants to work in a slow, poorly-run restaurant. If you have employees that are ok with working in that environment, they are the wrong employees for your business. They are not passionate, not professional, not committed to your success.

So how do you become a better restaurant? How do you attract and retain the best employees?

It starts with you. You need to hire good GMs and implement systems, processes, and accountability into your business. You need to set high standards and expectations for yourself and your team. You need to provide training, feedback, recognition, and rewards for your employees. You need to create a positive and supportive work atmosphere where everyone feels valued and respected.

I am always amazed at how many operators we encounter that would rather bury their heads in the sand and ignore what is really happening in their locations vs. rolling up their sleeves and getting to work to fix their stores.

If you want to become a better restaurant and attract and retain the best employees, you need a tool that can help you focus your team on the basics of running great operations. That’s where the OpsAnalitica Operations Management Platform comes in.

The OpsAnalitica Platform is a cloud-based software that helps you create, assign, and track daily tasks and checklists for your restaurant. It helps you ensure that your staff is following the best practices and standards for food safety, quality, service, and cleanliness. It helps you identify and fix issues before they affect your customers and your reputation. It helps you monitor and measure your performance and improvement over time.

Restaurants that use the OpsAnalitica Platform have 90% higher customer satisfaction than comparable restaurants in their chain that don’t use the platform. That’s because they are consistently delivering on the expectations of their customers. They are not leaving anything to chance or to human error. They are using data and feedback to improve their operations and their results.

One of the best examples of a restaurant that excels in customer satisfaction is Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A has the highest customer satisfaction numbers in the restaurant industry, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Chick-fil-A is always clean, well-staffed, and busy. They have a culture of excellence and service that is evident in everything they do.

You can transform your mediocre restaurant into a great one. You can solve your labor problem by becoming a better restaurant.

To learn more about how the OpsAnalitica Platform can help you, visit or contact us today for a free demo.

You don’t have a labor problem. You have a mediocre restaurant problem.

And you can solve it with OpsAnalitica.

Tommy Yionoulis

I've been in the restaurant industry for most of my adult life. I have a BSBA from University of Denver Hotel Restaurant school and an MBA from the same. When I wasn't working in restaurants I was either doing stand-up comedy, for 10 years, or large enterprise software consulting. I'm currently the Managing Director of OpsAnalitica and our Inspector platform was originally conceived when I worked for one of the largest sandwich franchisors in the country. You can reach out to me through LinkedIn.

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