Published in Food/Agribusiness

Hospitality industry still struggling through staffing, supply chain shortages

BY Monday, May 16, 2022 03:23pm

A recent survey of nearly 150 Michigan restaurant and hotel owners shows that most are still struggling with inadequate staffing and supply chain disruptions, and almost all employers are raising wages for their workers to address staffing shortages. 

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association survey conducted from May 2-9 included responses from 146 hotel and restaurant operators from more than 500 locations across the state.

Four out of five survey respondents are struggling with inadequate staffing, and most companies are offering employees more perks to retain and attract employees.

Almost all survey respondents indicated that they are increasing wages to address staffing shortages. In addition to increasing wages, 73 percent of business owners polled said they were offering more flexible scheduling, and 57 percent also said they are offering some kind of bonus for employees.

“While there is growing evidence that the worst is behind us, the data in this survey paints a clear picture that the hospitality industry continues to operate in a particularly challenging environment,” MRLA President and CEO Justin Winslow said in a statement. “Inflation, supply chain and an inadequate workforce combine to suppress profitability and imperil a much-needed comeback for Michigan’s hotels and restaurants.”

Nearly two-thirds of respondents also said that the lack of affordable housing has been a challenge for their employees, while 89 percent of hotel operators responded that “inadequate affordable housing” is an issue for the workforce.

“We believe a targeted campaign to educate, train and recruit a world-class hospitality workforce is needed to meet the unmet demands of our tourism-driven state and hope to partner with the governor and legislature to quickly achieve that goal,” Winslow said.

Of the restaurant and hotel owners that responded to questions about their company’s profitability, 61 percent said they are currently generating profit with their business, but most have seen their profitability decrease over the last six months. Roughly one in five business owners said their business is at risk of permanent closure over the next six months.

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