backbutton  Restaurant Manifesto


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The restaurant industry still has a notoriously high annual employee turnover rate. Last year, it reached a five-year high, eclipsing 75%. So owners, operators, and managers are looking for new ways to get their employees to stick around.

Despite the monumental strides made by the #MeToo movement to create safer, more supportive workplaces for all, women make up a large portion of those leaving restaurants in search of opportunities that offer reliable wages, skills training, safer environments, and career advancement.

Erin Wade, owner of a mac and cheese restaurant in Oakland, CA, wanted to create a safe, enjoyable place to work for people from all walks of life. That meant dealing with harassment head-on.

Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, looks for a high “hospitality quotient” in any restaurant staff he hires, above technical skills or experience.

And Irene Li, owner and operator of Mei Mei Street Kitchen, in Boston, MA, offers innovative benefits and training programs to make restaurant work a viable option for anyone who loves food. Off-premise orders now officially account for the majority of sales generated in restaurants, with the overall percentage of off-premise orders expected to expand in 2020. Restaurateurs are learning how to adapt and extend hospitality into the homes of their guests while still somehow making a profit through third-party delivery platforms.

More restaurateurs are raising capital through friends and family, investors, and providers like Toast, looking for restaurant financing loans for a new business or to expand an existing one.

And even though profits remain strong, margins are still tight, so restaurateurs are continuing to refine their ability to calculate their business’s performance metrics and explore new technology to help solve challenges.