Restaurant Groups Hit Hard by Labor Shortage

A significant labor shortage across the United States is creating ripple effects throughout the economy and country.

The restaurant and food service industry have been impacted tremendously. Overall the industry is still down roughly 6% of its total pre-pandemic workforce. There are over 750,000 available roles within the industry that employers are frantically trying to fill to accommodate high consumer demand.

Owners of restaurant groups in particular, have experienced even greater challenges as they find many of their businesses losing staff and failing to replace the workers.

A viable and long-lasting solution to these hiring challenges is hiring EB3 visa workers. Many employers in the industry have already begun using this strategy more intensely.

EB-3 workers are immigrants who can come to the United States on an employment based visa and typically fill positions in food service, hospitality, and construction.

By hiring immigrant workers, owners are able to source labor from an entirely new labor pool making it far easier to hire and retain workers. Reach out today to begin the process of staffing your organization. We reply within 24 hours and have helped several restaurant groups and franchises solve their staffing issues. Contact us.

The Problem: Restaurant Group Labor Shortages

Restaurant groups are central organizations that collectively own multiple restaurants. They make up a significant part of the restaurant industry, which has seen tremendous turmoil due to the pandemic. As we know the pandemic forced the food service industry into an abrupt halt. Many restaurants closed temporarily and others permanently.

These rapid shifts caused an extreme amount of workers to lose their jobs. However, as covid restrictions lifted, and consumers returned to restaurants, many workers refused to return to their old positions. Although the industry has seen staffing levels improve since the pandemic, CNBC reported in May that 750,000 jobs still remain unfilled.

The restaurant industry has always had a challenging time maintaining a stable workforce. Even before the pandemic, restaurants had a high rate of employee turnover. Churn rate for restaurants in 2022 is estimated to hover around 75%, one of the highest of any industry. The main reasons given for leaving restaurant jobs are low wages, irregular hours, and a generally difficult work environment. The restaurant industry has been trying to address these issues for years without much success.

The pandemic has exasperated these challenges and created new ones. Now, with more job openings, employees have more leverage in leaving to pursue other options or switch industries altogether. Restaurant groups in particular have been severely impacted by these challenges as they typically have several locations to manage.

Owners of restaurant groups need to prioritize hiring for the long term and treat it like an investment or else they will find themselves constantly performing ad hoc hires.

Fortunately, EB3 workers provide restaurant group owners and hiring managers with a long term solution to their staffing needs. EB3 workers generally stay with their employers twice as long as domestic workers, making them low-churn employees. This is mainly due to the complications that arise with their visa if they are unemployed.

We have decades of experience helping employers find great EB3 candidate workers to work in the restaurant industry and fill roles as waiters, cooks, hosts, and more. Reach out today to begin solving your labor shortages.

The EB-3 Visa Hiring Process Explained for Employers

The EB3 visa is an employment based visa that allows immigrants to legally work in the United States. It includes three major categories including professional, skilled, and unskilled laborers. The restaurant industry generally hires from the skilled and unskilled labor categories. In total it is capped  at 10,000 visas per year with 5,000 for professional workers and the other 5,000 for skilled and unskilled workers.

At a high level, the entire process takes roughly 12-18 months from start to finish and costs to the employer are minimal. There are three major components in the hiring process:

PERM Labor Certification

The first step is for the employer to file a PERM labor certification with the Department of Labor. This is essentially proving that there are no qualified American workers who can fill the role.

I-140 Immigration Petition

Once the PERM labor certification is approved, the employer then needs to file an I-140 immigration petition with USC. This petition is what actually starts the clock on the green card process.

I-485 Adjustment of Status

The final step is for the immigrant worker to file an I-485 adjustment of status with USCIS. This allows them to actually start working in the United States.

The process of hiring an EB3 worker can be very technical and nuanced which is why you want to rely on those with a proven track record of executing every step of the journey. We helped several employers and employees find great and long-lasting pairings that have helped employers stay afloat while providing residency to immigrants. It is important to begin thinking of hiring as a key part of your business strategy as economists believe the labor trends we are seeing will continue to persist for decades.

Reach out today to learn more and help us understand what role you are looking to fill. We reply within 24 hours and are excited to help you with your staffing issues.

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