Oct 20, 2021US diners happy even as server resignations rise

Americans are handing in their resignation in never-before-seen numbers, with hospitality workers doing so at higher rates than other industries. But despite employers struggling to keep hold of workers, customer satisfaction rates have risen year on year.

Louis Tozer

Across the US, the continuing impact of the Delta variant has resulted in the highest ever number of people quitting their job, with 2.9% of the entire US workforce handing in their notice. Disproportionately affected by staff shortages are the leisure and hospitality sectors, in which employers have had to make widespread changes to employment practices to entice workers. However, despite staff shortages, it appears that consumers haven't noticed a significant impact to the service they receive when dining in, with the American Customer Satisfaction Index finding that satisfaction rates at full-service restaurants have improved by 1.3% between 2020 and 2021. But as quit rates continue to increase, staffing pressures are expected to only worsen.

The pandemic impacted how people viewed their careers, and how employers treated their staff. In the hospitality industry, staff no longerprepared to work hard for low pay in COVID-19-unsafe environments have forced bosses to offer better terms of employment. Rising rates of customer dining-in satisfaction may indicate a parallel effect – many remain wary of dining in due to fears of the Delta variant, perhaps lessening pressure on reduced workforces. But with quit rates growing, brands in the hospitality sector need to ensure that service standards stay high. With a dwindling workforce and changing sentiments among consumers, the future of dining is uncertain, and concepts like Taco Bell’s drive-thru-only restaurant may herald the future of the industry.

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