Thank you to all who have read this article and the more than 300 others that have been posted to Harvest America Cues since 2012. The response to this recent article has been overwhelming and very encouraging. With almost no exception, the responses have been recognition of the growing labor problem, the role that the restaurant industry continues to play in creating this problem, and the need for wholesale change.
As I stated in the article – the solutions will need to come through a collaborative process of ideation, compromise, and hard decisions that involves professional organizations, restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, culinary programs, and even guests of the restaurant experience. The important point is that many of us seem willing to start that conversation. I applaud this willingness to look at not just a change, but also likely a paradigm shift that can only come if we address change together.
To those of you who thoughtfully stated that it is great to state the problem, but what are the solutions – my response is the same: this must be a collaborative problem solving project. I am happy to use Harvest America Cues as one of the portals for this discussion and encourage each of you to send in your thoughts, comments, and perspective.
If you would like a jumpstart to the process I have available a “white paper” review of the likely sources of the industry’s current dilemma and some of my personal thoughts on solution ideation. IF YOU WOULD LIKE A COPY OF THIS WHITE PAPER TO HELP YOUR INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL DISCUSSIONS ABOUT SOLUTIONS then simply send me your email address and I will forward a copy.
In the meantime, I encourage each of you to become active in the important professional organizations that can drive change, talk opening with your staff, connect with local culinary schools, and network with other restaurants in your community. This is everyone’s challenge, not just yours.
Send your request for a WHITE PAPER entitled: The Restaurant Industry 2016 – Addressing the Challenges of a Diminishing Labor Pool to:
Harvest America Ventures, LLC
Harvest America Cues Blog
YOUR ORGANIZATIONS THAT WILL DRIVE NEEDED CHANGES:
The National Restaurant Association (NRA)
The American Culinary Federation (ACF)
Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR)
The Center for Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ)
Research Chefs Association (RCA)