In any career, most people recognize when it’s time to leave and start something new. When it comes to the restaurant industry, it’s been an especially turbulent time for employees at every level. If you are considering leaving the restaurant industry, there are some other career options to examine.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant workers dealt with a specific set of issues like low wages, burn-out, demanding customers, and long hours. Working in foodservice is hard work in any climate.
Then came the shutdowns in early 2020 that produced a whole new set of issues. Layoffs in the restaurant industry sent the jobless home to either find a new option, perhaps in another industry, or stay at home and collect benefits. You’ll recall the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) under the CARES act, which was part of the American Rescue Plan that extended payments to laid-off employees.
The restaurant industry lost about 5.5 million jobs in the early days of the pandemic as curbside, drive-thru, and delivery took the place of dining room patrons and the need to maintain a large staff of servers and back-of-house employees to remain operational.
These unemployment payments were tough to compete against, creating a challenging obstacle for restaurant owners to overcome. Many restaurants were forced to cut hours of operation or minimize menus and services due to the shortage of staff.
Although 90% of United States restaurants survived the economic downturn, there was a new set of challenges that emerged from the pandemic, including strict cleaning and food handling requirements mandated by the CDC to maintain safety in the workplace, not only for customers but the brave restaurant workers who would tough it out as COVID numbers went up and down.
When restaurants were given the green light to open back up, owners and managers needed to find employees to staff shifts. To entice people into or back to the foodservice industry, there were never-before-seen incentives offered, from higher wages to perks like insurance, bonuses, and improved hours.
Restaurant operators have had a lot to deal with over a short period of time. For those who have made a career in the restaurant industry, the hours can be grueling, stress level high, and in light of two years of turmoil, you may feel like it’s time to take your skills elsewhere, perhaps looking for an opportunity to call the shots and be in control of your financial future. If you are thinking about leaving the restaurant industry, you are not alone. People are quitting foodservice in droves. In fact, the numbers of the accommodation and foodservice industry departures have grown from 4.8% to 6.9% in the past year.
Making Use of Your Skill Set
Fear not, you have honed some very unique skills as someone who has run a restaurant. It goes without saying that you are willing to pitch in and work hard. Anyone in the industry knows it is all-hands-on-deck to please customers and provide a good product. You have strong people skills. Not only have you dealt with customers who may be unhappy with their food or service, but you’ve dealt with the flip side — your staff whom you must hire, train, support, and motivate.
You are the coach of a team, and that takes enormous leadership skills. You must manage many different personalities and keep an establishment running like a well-oiled machine.
You know business. You know about product orders, menus, supplies, salaries, budget, taxes, licensing, permits, marketing, and finances.
These are a specific set of skills that will serve you well as you grow professionally. Maybe you are looking for a better work-life balance. After all, running a restaurant means keeping long hours, often working nights and weekends, keeping you away from family. Maybe you want to ensure you won’t be placed in the position again where you could potentially be laid off or be without a paycheck. You certainly want to use your knowledge of years in the restaurant industry to capitalize on a new career.
Consider We Sell Restaurants
At We Sell Restaurants, you can be in the enviable position to own your own business as a business broker franchisee. Your restaurant skill set will propel you in this career as you have a keen understanding of restaurant management and ownership. You won’t be leaving the restaurant industry at all. You will be shifting your career. You will have an advantage in dealing with your clients who are trying to buy or sell a restaurant because of your background in the industry.
Your skills will be put to good use in our unique food franchise opportunity at We Sell Restaurants. This opportunity allows you to enjoy shorter work hours — you set your own hours and enjoy a better lifestyle in a home-based business requiring low overhead as you can operate your business from a home office.
As a franchise owner, you benefit from our national relationships with restaurant franchise brands. We are the leading experts in pricing and selling restaurants. We have successfully listed and sold more restaurants than any other firm in the nation for nearly two decades. Besides being part of a recognizable brand, you benefit from our intensive franchisee training, helping you become a certified restaurant broker.
This low-cost franchise investment provides flexibility, a quick ramp-up, and a proven concept. While previous restaurant experience or business ownership is not required, it is certainly going to be helpful in you achieving success.
If you’d like to learn more about using your restaurant skills in a new career as a We Sell Restaurants franchise owner, request info about taking that next step.
Robin Gagnon, Certified Restaurant Broker®, MBA, CBI, CFE is the co-founder of We Sell Restaurants and industry expert in restaurant sales and valuation. Named by Nation’s Restaurant News as one of the “Most Influential Suppliers and Vendors” to the restaurant industry, her articles and expertise appear nationwide in QSR Magazine, Franchising World, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and BizBuySell. She is the co-author of Appetite for Acquisition, an award-winning book on buying restaurants.