We asked our Restaurant Operations Consultants and Food Fanatics® Chefs what the #1 trend would be in 2022. Their answer: LABOR, LABOR, LABOR. Technomic’s 2022 Trends Report agrees, citing that ‘The next year will bring a surge in the number of restaurant companies hosting virtual hiring events, upping hourly wages systemwide, offering referral and signing bonuses, implementing 401(k) and healthcare benefits, dropping educational requirements for managerial roles, and providing emergency childcare – all in an effort to snag workers from the retail sector, gig jobs and other highly competitive channels.

We’ve split this trend into two segments: Labor-Saving Techniques and Decreasing Turnover, because operators will need to take a two-pronged approach to be successful in 2022. Below, you’ll find resources, tips from our experts, and products that can help support you reduce your need for labor and invest in the team you already have to reduce staff turnover.

Trend One: Labor-Saving Techniques

  • 23% of operators think the foodservice labor shortage will be resolved in more than 6 months
  • 25% think it will never be the same
  • 32% are unsure


That is a lot of uncertainty in an industry that is fatigued by it. But there are solutions that can not only help you manage through this particular period, but help you maximize profits – even if and when things get back to normal.

Relying on ready-to-use products can help you expand your menu without the need to expand your staff. Specifically, Speed Scratch cooking – using pre-prepped products as a part of a made-from-scratch cooking strategy – can save you time and labor, without sacrificing quality. In our on-demand webinar LABOR-SAVING KITCHEN HACKS, our Food Fanatics® chefs show you how to better use products that help cut prep time and reduce labor costs, while maintaining the flavor, consistency and integrity that diners expect.

To help give you a more complete picture of how much labor certain products can give you, we've taken the time to quantify the hours saved on a wide-range of innovative Scoop™ products. Here you can take a look at all of our Scoop labor-saving products and see just how much time and prep-steps you can save from using each one. We also have a produce calculator that helps show you the true difference between pre-prepped produce and whole produce, taking into account yield, waste and labor cost from prep time – giving you more transparency to help you make a more informed purchase.

And those hacks don't end in the kitchen. Your bar has always been a relied-upon source of profits, and pre-mixed cocktails can make it even more so. This article can help guide you on the do's and don'ts of pre-mixed cocktails, and whether or not they are right for you.

Trend Two: Decreasing Turnover

  • 35% of operators have started hourly wages above their market’s mandated minimum wage
  • 33% have restructured scheduling to make shifts more predictable
  • 30% of operators offer or partially subsidize health insurance to hourly staff


But benefits are just the start of how you need to invest in your team to help decrease turnover in an already tight labor market. A good start is gaining a better understanding of the labor market, its forces, what you can control and what you can't. For example, culture plays a huge role in influencing people to stay in their current role. Read this article about how to create and authentic work culture and check out our on-demand webinar "Keys to Creating a Culture That Drives Results" to help you think about what you are offering employees beyond pay, in order to keep and attract top talent.

Some of the things you can do to both build culture and efficiency include how you train your staff. Back-of-house cross-training is a huge way to make sure you're better prepared when the unexpected happens. And don’t forget about your dishwasher. They are as crucial a cog in your machine as your chef and your servers, but they rarely want to be at the sink for long. This article can help you value them, build them up and train them to become even more valuable and reliable in the long run.

And don't forget about our CHECK® Business Tools, with partners that help you train your staff and better manage their schedules. As a US Foods® customer, you get exclusive offers on these resources and so much more to help you make it.


Get tips to help you resolve your labor shortage


Find out how to keep your dishwashers happily employed


Learn about cross-training to maximize effort from your restaurant staff