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Operations

The Big Picture: Workforce

In this section: Average foodservice employee, staff size, employee challenges, training, retirement, recruiting culinary graduates and younger generation.

FoodService Director has released the results of The Big Picture, which we believe is the most comprehensive non-commercial research project ever conducted. As the name suggests, our goal is to give readers a thorough look into the non-commercial industry—not only at where the industry is currently, but, more important, a peek at where the non-commercial markets are heading. In the following slideshow you’ll find a wealth of knowledge from the Workforce category.

Click here to read more about The Big Picture project

Staff Size Fluctuates by Segment

Overall, many staffs have remained the same size for the past two years, with 46% of respondents to The Big Picture research reporting this. More operators in every market segment—with the exception of colleges—report that their staffs had remained constant in size.

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The Average Foodservice Employee

The average foodservice employee in the non-commercial industry is female, Caucasian (non-Hispanic) and isn't unionized. Our employee profile also looks at specialized staffing, age breakdowns and full versus part-time staff.

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Dealing with Staff

When it comes to human resources challenges, operators say employee morale/motivation is the most difficult aspect, according to The Big Picture research. Absenteeism also ranked high, especially in schools and B&I locations.

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Seeking Culinary Talent

Most operators (63%) believe that there are more culinary school graduates seeking employment in non-commercial foodservice than there were five years ago. The highest percentage of operators who feel this way (78%) is in B&I.

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Younger Employees Lack Work Ethic, Operators Say

Turnover has remade the six-person custodial staff that cleans Hallmark’s employee dining facilities in Kansas City, Mo., leaving Corporate Services Manager Christine Rankin with a team she regards as ideal. “To a person, they’re fabulous,” she says, pausing, “and they’re all middle-aged.”

Experience has brought her into agreement with the sentiment revealed by The Big Picture about managing employees of a tender vintage. Rankin and other foodservice operators were asked if young staffers showed the same work ethic their predecessors did a decade ago. The question proved to be the equivalent of asking who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb.

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Operators Differ About Future Management Talent

Even with unemployment running high, foodservice operators aren’t sure if career hunters will want to follow in their footsteps. The key determinant, they say, is how well the industry spotlights the opportunities available today to prospective candidates.

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