With the fast growth of the hospitality industry and the desire to be the best, many restaurants have long working hours. In my opinion that is fine, but my concern is why the waiters need to have the same long working shifts of 12 hours and more?
One of the big problems in Eastern Europe is the abuse of the wait staff constantly and continuously. Many of the restaurant owners are abusing their staff every day, small salary and long working hours are just a few of the thing being done to the waiters. Many of the wait staff is not even registered, so they lose all of their benefits for the future pension.
Since my arrival in Bucharest, Romania one of the constant problems that I was seeing was abuse and disrespect of the wait staff. They are working long hours, some of them with no breaks and they are paid poorly. A friend of mine, restaurant owner once being asked why is that, told me that it is ok for the wait staff to work 12-hour shifts. The wait staff gets fast used to long hours and they don’t complain. Once asked about the salary he told me that the wait staff is paid a bare minimum and they are not registered which again is fine. I was shocked.
Working a long hour shift, no human being is able to perform 100% the entire shift. All of us have peek hours where we are the most productive, and all of us get tired, so why not in a 12-hour shift you do not put 2 shifts of 6 hours. Like this you have your wait staff happy, your customers are even happier because your staff is well rested, not stressed and they can provide their best at all times.
What is the cost of that? It is less then working against yourself, trying to cut some costs and cutting on ONE thing that you should never cut, YOU EMPLOYEES are YOUR FREE MARKETING TOOL. Instead of having a BMW, AUDI, MERCEDES tomorrow, save a bit longer, invest in your staff, and have your dream car next month.
The math is very simple, investing in your staff means that you invest in your future, your goals will become easily achievable and your desires pure reality. Cut the long working hours, invest a bit more and then sit back and enjoy the success.