Restaurant executives expressed issues related to workers, including rising wages and problems with retaining talent.
"We're coming off a year where we had about 5-6% labor inflation. I don't think that's going to change for years," Noodles & Co. CEO Dave Boennighausen told Business Insider. Increasing labor cost will be a huge challenge this year.
Another issue will be getting employees and keeping them. "The fight for quality labor is incredibly difficult," said David Cantu, cofounder of restaurant industry tech provider HotSchedules. How to keep employees motivated and engaged will be tough to figure out.
Food delivery is extremely popular and it’s efficient in driving sales. As it is still unclear how much customers are willing to pay for convenience, many restaurants and third-party delivery partners are eating part of the cost of delivering food. So how to handle delivery is another problem these businesses need to solve.