• Pricing


Thriving In 2024: Tips For Restaurant Operators

Thriving In 2024: Tips For Restaurant Operators

Picture of Nate Lozier
Nate Lozier

2024 is slated to be a big year for restaurants. Here are some tips and suggestions to ensure your hiring and restaurant operations are up to date for the new year.

2023 marked the transition into what many have called the “post-pandemic era,” with lifted restrictions and a return to normalcy for both the workforce and public life. However, the restaurant industry continued to face challenges in recovering, experiencing a delay in workforce restoration and grappling with record inflation affecting costs.

Despite these hurdles, the outlook for 2024 appears optimistic for restaurants, as the industry is witnessing strong job growth amid subsiding inflation concerns and rising consumer confidence.

These positive trends presents an opportunity for restaurant operators to regain profitability in the coming year. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices for restaurant operators to navigate crucial aspects of hiring and store operations in 2024.

Tailoring Restaurant Hiring To Attract A New Generation Of Workers

Gen Z, those born mid-1990s to early 2010s, continue to enter the restaurant industry en masse every year. To attract these employees, it’s essential to tailor hiring practices accordingly. Many Gen Z employees are socially conscious, so emphasizing involvement in causes such as a low carbon footprint or the use of local/sustainable ingredients can attract them.

Gen Z, often referred to as “digital natives,” prefer digital communication and technology, even in job applications. To cater to this preference, many restaurants are adopting applicant tracking systems (ATS) for hiring. These systems automate various aspects of the hiring process, facilitating streamlined communication and scheduling through digital means like text messages.

Expand Your Applicant Pool with Your Career Page

While many restaurants use job boards like Indeed or traditional methods such as paper applications and walk-ins for hiring, the potential of career pages is often overlooked. According to CareerPlug, even though career pages account for only 14% of applicants, they contribute to 54% of hires. Applicants from career pages are five to seven times more likely to be hired, indicating a strong interest in the company. To enhance the attractiveness of a career page, it is essential to go beyond job descriptions and showcase the restaurant’s values, mission, benefits, and culture. Including visual elements like photos of a happy team at work or engaging in cultural activities can significantly boost interest and expand the applicant pipeline.


Thriving In 2024: Tips For Restaurant Operators

Prepare and Forecasting for the New Year

To prepare for the new year, successful restaurants engage in ongoing forecasting, not just annually but on a monthly and even weekly basis. Forecasting involves analyzing customer traffic trends, identifying top-performing menu items, and adapting to changing factors such as pricing and product availability.

Begin by reviewing past year’s usage numbers and sales, taking into account major events or issues that may have influenced them, such as sporting events, music festivals, or unusual weather. Consider these factors in your estimates. Look ahead to upcoming events, check the weather, and identify local activities that may impact customer numbers. Utilize these insights to shape expectations, plan inventory, and make temporary staff adjustments for the upcoming year.

Start Fresh by Reassessing Inventory Management

To start anew, reassess your inventory management practices by adjusting the cadence and improving communication within your team. Many restaurants are adopting software for comprehensive inventory management, shifting towards daily and weekly counts for crucial items. Although this may seem more time-consuming, the benefits, especially for high-use or high-cost items, outweigh the effort. Conducting frequent counts helps identify missing inventory promptly.

When changing inventory cadence, ensure that all team members involved are informed about the adjustments and the new system. The new year is an opportune time to introduce and implement new systems like inventory software, which not only streamlines the counting process but also minimizes human error and automatically identifies discrepancies or low-stock items that need reordering.

Wrapping It Up

In 2023, the restaurant industry faced challenges despite the post-pandemic era. However, 2024 brings optimism with strong job growth and rising consumer confidence. We hope you’ll kick off the new year by starting fresh with your team, and implement some of these changes to take your hiring and operations to the next level. Best of luck!