More retailers than ever before are stocking their stores with dedicated foodservice workers. Only 17% of stores had designated foodservice employees in 2008. In 2018, that number has jumped to 70%.
“Recruiting specifically for foodservice is no longer about setting yourself apart,” said Donna Hood Crecca, associate principal for Technomic. “It’s the norm; it’s where we are right now.”
With a declining workforce participation rate, however, finding those foodservice workers is getting tougher. Both baby boomers and prime-age men (between 25 and 54 years old) are dropping out of the workforce in growing numbers, Crecca said. While boomers are retiring, about half of the prime-age men not participating in the workforce are on daily painkillers, she said, citing a 2016 study from economist Alan B. Krueger.
In addition, Generation Z is a smaller group than millennials, creating a greater scarcity of labor. “We used to be able to say, ‘I’ll hire some high school kids and train them and let’s go,’ ” she said. “It’s harder to get those high school kids.”