Finding workers has been a challenge in many professions, and restaurants are no exception. They have felt the pressure and have seen the need on a daily basis and are starting to see a trend. Retirees are stepping back in the game and re-entering the workforce. Some retirees took early retirement when covid hit and are wanting back in the workforce now that things have somewhat calmed down, others miss interacting with people, some have retired from their full-time careers, but want to take on a part-time position to bring in extra money or to simply contribute to the workforce. So what does this mean for restaurants?
Retirees re-entering the workforce has many benefits for restaurants. Yes, there are concerns and you want to be strategic when assigning their specific role. Waiting tables and being on their feet for an entire shift might not be something they are capable of doing. Learning new technology can be a challenge as well, but there are far more benefits to hiring this demographic than you might think.
Bringing older workers to work in your restaurant can be a great benefit for all staff members. They have so much life experience, along with work experience that they can share. Their work ethic is strong, and they are friendly with excellent customer service. Having this kind of behavior modeled for others could have a positive effect on other employees who work in your restaurant as well as having a positive impact on your customers who interact with them.
Older employees are also extremely consistent. They prefer a solid schedule and like to know when they will be working. There are benefits to being flexible and the younger generation appreciate the ability to post a shift that can be picked up when something arises, but there are also benefits to having someone be able to come in at a consistent time each day. On the same note, a lot of times they have more free time so are more available and flexible when they need to be.
Hiring retirees also brings diversity to the workplace. When you have mixed ages working together, they are able to share their experiences, help the other understand certain issues and it has been said that having a multi-generational staff increases productivity. Age discrimination has been an issue in the workforce, but people are starting to see the value older generations can provide and how it can benefit their business.
All of that said, there is room at the table for everyone. Your younger staff are creative, great with technology and have fresh ideas, while your older staff have strong communication skills, a wealth of knowledge and experience and can help ease your scheduling dilemma. How could your restaurant benefit from hiring across all generations?