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Dining out is certainly popular in the United States. In fact, the average American eats away from home about 5.9 times per week. There are over 660,000 restaurants in the United States to feed that “dine-out appetite.” However, restaurant employment rates are currently being hard-pressed to keep up with consumer demand rates.  

Here are some interesting facts. First, a total of 110,000 restaurant locations were closed temporarily or permanently during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Second, 90 percent of restaurant locations are considered to be small businesses with less that 50 employees per location. Third, 70 percent of locations are single-unit operations. 

What Are the Key Challenges Restaurants Will Face in 2022? 

Restaurant experts consider these to be key challenges for the industry in 2022: 

  1. Restaurant employment rates. The current labor crunch is expected to continue from the challenges faced during the past two years. So, employers must value their employees more than ever before and work hard to attract them, motivate them, and retain them. That will require some focus on competitive pay, improved training programs, flexible hours, and an enjoyable working environment. 
  2. Technology. More technology will be used to help maximize each employee’s time and efficiency, plus make their jobs more enjoyable. If employees are happy and motivated, their customer service will improve as well. 
  3. Supply chain disruptions. Problems in the supply chain will cause some inventory shortages, menu price increases, possible delays in service, and reduced operating hours. 
  4. Third-party delivery. This system of service has risen rapidly in popularity. Restaurants will need to figure out how to make money with these services. 
  5. Reduced customer visit frequency. Due to increasing food, utility, and fuel costs across the country, dining-out frequency and eating patterns may change, making it harder for restaurants to predict employee scheduling needs. 

Restaurant Employment Rates and Trends 

The National Restaurant Association offers these projections for 2022: 

  • The industry workforce is expected to grow by 400,000 jobs, reaching total industry employment of 14.9 million by year’s end. 
  • 70 percent of restaurant operators indicate that the industry does not have enough employees to support customer demand. Further, it is expected that labor challenges will continue into 2023. 
  • About 50 percent of restaurant operators expect that recruiting and retaining employees will be their biggest challenge in 2022 and that they will need to devote more resources to those areas. 

The Importance of Payroll 

Payroll is one of the most important aspects of business and in the challenging restaurant employment rates faced by the restaurant industry, it is perhaps supremely important. Consider that payroll affects employee morale and their trust in an organization. If payroll is not handled in a timely manner and if mistakes are made to withholdings, benefits, overtime pay, vacation pay, or anything else, it can cause a severe backlash for the business. 

Choose an Expert Payroll Service to Assist You 

Choose Palmetto Payroll, with offices in Columbia and Charleston, SC. They are your local expert source for payroll and back-office operations for your business. They serve over 300 businesses throughout South Carolina with expert payroll, tax filing, tax depositing, Human Resource services, timekeeping, and management reporting services.