Driven by a smaller industry labor pool, labor force participation rates, and historic trends in industry recruitment, retention, and absenteeism — the most impactful movement in foodservice and hospitality will be operators embracing new technologies to improve the odds of winning in the war for talent and employee retention — which has never had higher stakes (a $146B problem pre-pandemic).

Hiring has been super rough for a majority in foodservice & hospitality. This pain is not evenly distributed however. And the business owners and operators that have it the worst are also those stuck in a fantasy land where denial and condescension reign. Because every owner-operator double-majored in Hospitality Management and Recruiting/Talent acquisition in college. Right?

What spectacular strategy do these self aggrandizing “experts” employ?

• Job boards

• Job fairs

• Social media posts

• Hoping for a miracle

• Public begging (tugging at heart strings)

Sound like a winning game plan to build that talent funnel? 🤔🧐


Dear [Restaurant, Bar, Food Truck, Ghost Kitchen, Catering, Hotel] Operator:

I am writing this letter as a “hard truth” attempt to offer a bit of clarity, and, God-willing, knock some sense into your perturbed mind— and maybe provide affirmation that brighter days are ahead if you can strip away bullshit excuses & self-sabotage, and accept the truth.

Please understand we are squarely in the age of flexible on-demand options to earning income. The allure of freedom & flexibility has been the driver of adoption for people looking to supplement or replace their traditional income in the #gigeconomy. Workers are no…

I am a champion and advocate for the gig-economy and people having a side hustle or two. Every individual has unique skills or abilities or assets — time being one, that can be put to use to make money. Sometimes to great effect, where side-hustles become full time endeavors generating more than enough income to sustain one’s lifestyle or surpass income from a more traditional employment status.

Side hustles are a proven way to generate supplemental income, fairly quickly, depending on the platform or gig performed. The data suggests that both the unemployed and those that are simply trying to…

As they are prone to do, corporate economists lead many to believe that an increase in the federal minimum wage leads to trouble, such as a reduction in employees on payroll, reduced hours for remaining employees, increased prices for consumers, and potential fallout leading to business closures. Contrary to this position, there are interesting data points that paint a different picture— one containing positive outcomes. In 2019 the Congressional Budget Office projected that a $15 an hour federal minimum wage would increase the pay for 17 million people or more, across industries, while potentially eliminating the jobs for 1.3 million…

In the foodservice and hospitality industry the battle to attract workers to open jobs is being driven by an overall smaller industry labor pool stemming from limitations in how companies are competing for and ultimately recruiting workers. As workers continue to depart food service in droves, a trend that picked up steam in 2020 with workers heading to other industries such as food manufacturing, warehouse jobs, and even retail, where starting wages of $15–17 per hour in search of consistent income streams, complicating matters further are industry-wide issues with worker retention & turnover, and worker absenteeism which has become even…

For those that don’t know, I am the Founder and CEO of SnapShyft, a technology startup that connects hospitality and food-service businesses with fully vetted & experienced front or back-of-house staff, on-demand. Our platform supercharges a manager’s ability to get great staff working on a short-term, seasonal, or long-term basis; delivering the best attributes of the gig-economy while eliminating bias and discrimination from the staffing process — working with acclaimed restaurant brands, high-volume catering & event operations, and hospitality businesses of all shapes and sizes we help fill shifts FAST.

Internally we talk a great deal about time— time lost…

While wrapping up the absolute wildest shit show of a year and looking for hopeful signs for improvements in the months to come, rather than just reflecting on the last 365 days, making plans and setting goals for the new year, I’m really focusing on ways to keep my eyes (and my actions) trained on building our startup and staying mentally fit as a founder.

To accomplish this I came up with a short list of five things I will be working on to help build back up the mental reserves, amplify the internal drive to succeed, and help get…

A new rule recently finalized and published by the Department of Labor is set to take effect early in 2021. It short, it will allow restaurant owners to take tipped employees’ tips to pay “back of house” workers, such as cooks and dishwashers.

While on the surface this looks like an opportunity for previously non-tipped workers to share in the upside and take home more pay, balancing out pay disparities, many believe it is simply a redistribution to offset reductions in total labor cost paid by the restaurant owner.

For example, front of house workers such as bartenders, servers, hosts…

Pre-pandemic, despite the total number of restaurants nationwide increasing +16% (‘07’-’18), new entrants joining the labor pool were drying up or flat (leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic). The teen labor force participation rate has been stagnant for 4 yrs and counting— In 2007 there were 1.7M teens working in restaurants; and in 2018 there were still only 1.7M teens working in restaurants. More from CNBC

In the restaurant and food service space teens used to dominate the adults aged 55+ by a 3–1 ratio; But prior to 2020 it was down to 2–1. So restaurants face a real labor…

Thor Wood

Thoughts on being a startup founder, the foodservice & hospitality industry, the future of work and the gig-economy, & social impact

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