The restaurant employee retention strategy no one’s talking about

From long lines at fast food operations to slow service in sit-down restaurants, you can see signs of the labor shortage everywhere food is served. And it’s no wonder — according to a report released in January from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, quit rates for the accommodation and foodservice industry have increased from 4.8% to a whopping 6.9% over the past year, while hiring rates have remained stagnant.

And it’s not just about pay, either. A recent Joblist survey of former hospitality workers found that over 50% say even a pay increase would not incentivize them to return to their old restaurant, bar or hotel job. So, what’s driving them away?

The physical toll

Although food preparation and serving might not be the first thing you think of as “manual labor,” they require a physicality many other jobs don’t.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these employees spend 96.4% of their workdays on their feet, with 75.9% reporting requirements to stoop, 96.7% needing to reach at or below the shoulder, 65% having to reach overhead, and 56% reporting using a medium level of strength in order to perform their jobs.

Over time, this level of exertion wears down workers, leaving them physically exhausted.

Lighten the load with the right equipment

Industry awareness continues to grow, and it’s no longer enough to focus purely on pay and benefits. As foodservice operations consider how best to attract new employees and retain current staff, reducing the physical labor required to perform tasks becomes a more essential part of the discussion.

This doesn’t mean having to replace workers with expensive and complicated robotic systems. But it’s time to consider options that ease the back-breaking labor of restaurant work while improving efficiency and improving the consistency of the final product.

Case in point: AyrKing’s Mixstir and Mixstir Basket for hot chicken restaurants

A great example of equipment that reduces the toll of labor on workers is AyrKing’s Mixstir and Mixstir basket.

The Mixstir thoroughly combines batters or liquid seasonings with a specially designed blade that stirs mixtures without injecting air and disturbing the flavor profile. Perfect for Nashville-style hot chicken oil-based mixes that need to be constantly mixed to keep the seasoning suspended, the Mixstir improves efficiency, saving workers time and labor that would otherwise be spent on manual stirring.

Sliding easily in and out of the Mixstir, the Mixstir Basket is a labor-saving alternative to coating chicken manually with a brush. The perfectly sized basket allows chicken to be dipped into the Mixstir and then lifted out without interfering with the bottom blade. Convenient hooks on the basket allow for easy drainage without needing to be held.

The two devices work together to increase efficiency during rushes while maintaining consistency in flavor despite changes in workers, shifts and locations.

As always, AyrKing’s laser focus on the smallest steps in the day-to-day, hour-by-hour foodservice process continues to improve the restaurant as a whole — including the comfort and well-being of hands-on workers.

Want to learn more ways to simplify your employees’ processes? Contact us today to find out how AyrKing can help you reduce the load for your workers while improving efficiency and consistency for your operation.


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