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88% Of Hotels, Restaurants Operating With ‘Inadequate’ Staffing, High Foot Traffic

August 17, 2021

From Aug. 3-6, more than 85% of full-service restaurants were closing early or working under specific time segments directly due to “inadequate staffing levels.” 
On Wednesday, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) released the results of a statewide hospitality industry survey, consisting of 320 responses from restaurant and hotel operators. Ultimately, it found 88% of industry members were operating “with inadequate staffing to meet consumer demand.” 
“Restaurant and hotel operators are trying to meet consumer demand that exceeds 2019 with 100,000 fewer workers and skyrocketing labor and commodity prices. Workers are exhausted and profit margins are thin for many despite the resurgent demand,” said Justin Winslow, president of the MRLA, in a statement. 
Additionally on Wednesday, Zenreach — the walk-through marketing platform — determined August to be a consecutive month of increased foot traffic for in-store retail visits, restaurants and entertainment venues. Nationally, foot traffic across these establishments spiked by 52% since the start of 2021, while Detroit specifically experienced a 254% skyrocket. 
Metro Detroit was second to Philadelphia, Pa., which had a 332.37% boost since January 2021, for majority U.S. cities with the greatest rise in foot-traffic and in-store visits. 
The Detroit listing was also partnered with Warren and Dearborn under Zenreach’s report. 
However, despite the unique increase, Zenreach Vice President for Marketing Megan Wintersteen said customer foot traffic to physical stores and restaurants had actually flattened in July. 
“Which we consider a reflection of the growing concern over new Delta variants,” Wintersteen said in a statement. “As mask mandates and restrictions are reinstated, we are expecting to see foot traffic slow across the board.” 
Regardless, MRLA’s report showed 97% of restaurants and hotels faced “commodities inflation this year,” and 64% expressed belief that the U.S. Congress should enact additional relief targeted toward assisting the hospitality industry. 
As for increased offers to work in 2021 with a higher value, 95% of operators spiked up their wages, with half of respondents enlarging their wages by more than 10%. 
More than 80% of hotels also had to limit room inventory because they did not have the adequate staffing to turn them over for new guests, according to the MRLA report. 
“It is important to remember that most restaurants and hotels did not receive federal or state aid during the darkest days of the pandemic,” Winslow said, with the MRLA calling on the Legislature and the Governor to establish a deal in September “that prioritizes the hospitality industry in yet-to-be appropriated federal relief dollars.” 
On Thursday, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget published several publications exhibiting the most highly-demanded jobs from region-to-region in the state. It found for high-demand occupations through 2028 for those with a high school diploma or equivalent and with short-term training were: 
– Food preparation staff and serving workers in West Michigan faced with 8% growth with wages ranging from $10 to $12 
– Industrial truck and tractor operators in West Michigan experiencing 4% growth with wages ranging from $14 to $20 
– Maids and housekeeping cleaners in West Michigan having 2.5% growth with wages being offered from $11 to $15 
– Light truck or delivery service drivers in West Michigan having a 5.2% growth with wages ranging from $12 to $23 
– Hosts and hostesses and restaurant, lounge and coffee shop staff in Southeast Michigan to experience 1.4% growth with wages being offered from $10 to $12 
– Construction laborers in Southeast Michigan facing 6.2% growth and wages being offered from $16 to $24 
– Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in Southeast Michigan experiencing 5.8% growth with wages ranging from $13 to $24 
– Food preparation and serving workers in Southeast Michigan having a 6.9% growth with wages ranging from $10 to $12. 

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