In my local area (Portland, OR), there has been a rash of restaurant closings at both chain and independent operations. With these tough economic times for our industry, this comes as no surprise.
Except for those who work at the restaurants being closed.
A common scenario with the closings is the staff having no advanced notice that the restaurant is going to be shutdown. Often the scenario is staff showing up for their shift only to find the doors locked, lights out, and maybe a handwritten note on the front door saying something like, "closed for remodeling".
Our industry has been struggling for years to create an image of an industry of choice with multiple careers of choice. We also have a record of massive turnover, low retention in both hourly and management positions, and escalated competition for a dwindling labor pool.
Should operators planning to close a unit give their hourly staff some reasonable advance notice so they can prepare their families, finances, employment alternatives, unemployment alternatives, or networking them with other local restaurant operations , etc?
It does not enhance out image as an industry when staff are left “high and dry”. Are there other alternative processes to consider that would provide support instead of abandonment of so many available and valuable employees?
Your thoughts would be appreciated.