If there is one true constant in the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry, it is manpower shortages.
Seriously, ask anyone who has worked at a restaurant or café, part-time or full-time.
They will most likely tell you that they are working an insane number of hours per week and their overtime is cutting close to maximum, and they feel like they are not getting paid enough for how much they do.
As a result, some restaurants have pushed out a four-day work model to fill up their full-time vacancies swiftly. The staff members’ weekly hours have been cut down from 60 hours to 40 hours, but their salaries increased instead of decreasing.
Recently, England has also been facing a severe manpower shortage in the F&B industry.
Thus, they launched a four-day work week trial for more than 3,300 from 70 different companies and it has shown good results.
The think tanks who organised this experimental trial stated that it might be possible to implement the same model in Singapore as well.
Moreover, a survey that was conducted last month showed that 7 in 10 workers hoped that they could have a four-day work week.
You can watch this video to understand why a four-day work week is better than the traditional five-day work week:
Last December, another study discovered that nearly 88% of local workers approve of a four-day work model.
However, many employers have reservations about this arrangement, for fairly obvious reasons.
This changed with Tenya, a well-known Japanese restaurant that entered Singapore two years ago.
A New Solution to an Old Problem
In order to resolve its manpower issues, Tenya resolutely changed the staff’s schedule to a four-day work week, and specifically promoted the new system during recruitment.
In an interview with Shin Min Daily News, HR Manager Bart revealed that ever since Tenya opened for business in Orchard Central in October 2020, the restaurant had always been plagued by manpower issues, which forced the staff to work overtime regularly.
The long working hours eventually caused a portion of the staff to consider resigning.
For the sake of solving this problem, Bart had many discussions with the management.
In the middle of June, the four-day work shift was finally introduced, and Tenya started recruiting more chefs and servers under this arrangement.
Additionally, both new and older staff members had a pay raise of 10%.
Chef Yu Kailun, 35, joined the restaurant last April. Owing to the lack of manpower, he would work for nearly 60 hours per week.
The thought of resigning has definitely crossed his mind before, but the company was extremely sincere when trying to retain him and promised that they would try their best to resolve the problem. Under the new model, not only did his weekly shift become shorter, but because of the additional manpower, it was no longer as stressful as well.
Bart expressed that this tactic is genuinely effective as the restaurant managed to fill all the full-time vacancies and reduce their reliance on part-time workers.
Honestly, it’s a really good way to make F&B jobs more appealing to the masses.
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