Cue the collective groans.
When a critical piece of equipment in your restaurant breaks down, your staff’s first reaction is likely an audible, “Oh shit”, as they know how painful the next step in the process is going to be.
Managing equipment repairs and maintenance are a necessary part of the restaurant business, but they feel more difficult than they should.
Here’s why you’re feeling the pain when you’re working to get things fixed:
1. We’re experiencing a skilled trades shortage
Outlets across the country are reporting on America’s trade shortage, which is largely attributed to an entire generation of baby boomers reaching retirement age. Many boomers are leaving behind jobs in the skilled trades, but younger people are looking for jobs outside of those industries, according to Adecco.
The short supply of skilled trade workers means your restaurant is directly impacted when it comes to managing repairs. That longer than usual lead time that seems to precede every repair project? A seeming uptick in delayed follow-ups and follow-through?
Chalk it up to not enough skilled tradespeople entering the workforce.
Even renowned service businesses that are generations old are having difficulty finding new workers to fill these essential technician positions.
If you’ve ever had a contractor or technician cancel on you with short (or zero) notice, leaving you with unhappy staff members who can’t properly do their jobs, and unhappy customers who won’t get to experience your high-quality offering, you’re seeing another symptom of the shortage.
There just aren’t enough experienced repair personnel to go around.
This shortage of skilled tradespeople means that positions are being filled by employees who are decidedly underskilled. When relying on service technicians who are green or have little experience, you can expect longer service visits, mistakes or errors that require additional attention, and poor customer handling in high stress situations.
All of this adds up to a less than ideal repairs experience. But wait, there’s more.
2. There aren’t enough restaurant operations professionals in the workforce
Restaurant repairs are frustrating in part due to a lack of skilled tradespeople, but there’s another factor at play. There are simply fewer restaurant operations professionals.
In a recent report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the number of workers in the restaurant industry is at its lowest since 2013.
This presents itself in your restaurant in the form of short-staffed teams who are strained by their core responsibilities, who quickly become overwhelmed when tasked with the additional job of managing service and repair visits.
Due to labor shortages in the hospitality and skilled trades industries, you’re likely experiencing a number of these roadblocks whenever your equipment needs to be repaired or serviced.
Fortunately, managing restaurant repairs doesn’t have to be your problem ever again.
Investing in your restaurant’s experience by relying on a repair management service is a best practice that will relieve you and your staff in these times of crisis. In Q1 and Q2 of 2019, we’ve discovered that our customers require assistance with managing equipment repairs and maintenance 2.5x a month. Instead of adding another to-do to your operations manager’s list, a service like 86 Repairs can take equipment repairs off your plate, providing turnkey support for your business.
Restaurant repairs can be a pain, but understanding the issue is the first step toward solving it for your business.
Once you dive into the societal factors impacting this irritating issue, you can begin to consider your options as a restaurant owner and get back to the most important aspect of your business: providing exceptional service to your customers.