Restaurant owners face even more challenges in 2022
CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant owners continue to pivot their operations and find more creative ways to reach their customers.
Nobody expects it to be easy. More than half of restaurant owners expect it will be a year or more before conditions return to normal, according to a new report from the American Restaurants Association, as thousands of restaurants have closed, with some closings being permanent.
But this latest news is not all dire, according to a business reporter.
“I believe (what) is happening right now in many different industries is a transformation,” said business journalist Shibani Joshi, who joined ‘The Donlon Report’ on Tuesday.
“The restaurant industry has shown it has been able to adapt by moving from indoors to outdoors then to limited capacity and then starting to dedicate more of its business to delivery services as well” , she said. “This is going to be a further incentive for the industry to continue to adapt and be flexible and to bring about a new business model.”
The report says food, labor and occupancy costs are expected to remain high and will continue to hamper the restaurant industry’s bid to make a big comeback this year. Other challenges include finding and retaining employees, supply chain issues, inflation, and a smaller consumer base. However, Dallas, Texas restaurateur Taco Borga remains optimistic.
“It is important to understand that the restaurant industry has transformed and will continue to transform into something that no one knows exactly where or what it will lead to. But one thing is certain…we have to adapt.
On the good news side, the group estimated in its “State of the Restaurant Industry Report” on Tuesday that the restaurant industry should reach $898 billion in sales in 2022. The workforce is also expected to grow by 400,000 jobs. Some restaurants are even relying on technology to alleviate staffing issues. Borga said he hired robots to help him in his restaurants.
“Their job is to take the jobs from the humans, which means whatever makes our servers less efficient and less efficient, the bots take over,” he said.
He said this new level of technology has led to great opportunities to redefine the industry and its business.
“We’re going to be offering microchips to people who want to work an hour or two during our peak hours…and tapping into a whole new group of people who don’t want to be on a schedule, don’t want to have a commitment, and don’t want to not be controlled by anyone.
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