Saturday, August 12, 2023

Extended Business Hours: Embracing the Gig Economy to Keep Restaurants Open Longer & Later


Article by Guest Blorer: Starr Douglas, CEO of FrontHouz

The gig economy has come, and it is here to stay, both providing a new way for workers to utilize their skills and profoundly impacting how businesses operate. One crucial area where the gig economy is making a splash is within the food industry, mainly the "grocerant" niche.  Retail food outlets refer to “grocerants” as supermarkets offering fresh, hot, in-store dining with ready-to-eat meals.

Embracing the power of the gig economy has enabled all restaurants and food service companies to not only have trained staff available at their fingertips but also to extend their business hours so they can generate more revenue.

While grocerants are the focus of this article, all dining establishments, from casual eateries to fine dining, can benefit from this staffing approach.

In this article, we will explore how restaurants leverage this power to enhance the overall experience of their staff and guests.

The Benefits of Embracing the Gig Economy for the Food Service Industry

Ride-share and food delivery weren't the be-all and end-all; they sparked an exciting revolution that made business owners face the opportunity on their doorsteps. Accessing the gig economy gives venues a more comprehensive range of available staff and drastically lowers their training costs by allowing them to select from a pool of pre-qualified and talented workers.

This overcomes one of the biggest challenges for the food service industry - maintaining adequate staffing levels to meet customer demands.

Historically, turnover usually has hovered around 70% annually, reaching as high as 140%. By maintaining a complete and competent team, restaurants are able to eliminate the need to close on certain days and keep up with busy peak times during their most profitable seasons. This not only increases revenue, but boosts guest satisfaction.

Key Gig Economy Roles for Restaurants

Understanding the benefits of the gig economy is one thing, but putting it to practical use is another. After all, isn't it just another pool of candidates? Restaurants that center their brand around service will always need specialists to cement it in place, and some critical roles help to achieve excellence:

To-Go Specialists

Restaurants can easily access to-go specialists during peak hours without breaking the bank on development, training, and onboarding costs. A to-go specialist is efficient and skilled at managing the take-out portion of a business so that guests receive their orders promptly and accurately.


Business events, weddings, galas, and other medium or large events are big wins and can do wonders for a restaurant's brand, both in reputation and in revenue. Having skilled hosts and caterers ensures that VIP guests receive the white-glove treatment they paid for.


Whether at a bar or restaurant, drinks always come first. Bartenders can save the day during times when the kitchen is overwhelmed and orders just aren't going out as quickly as needed. Experienced bartenders help bars run smoothly and provide an extra edge that can make a massive difference to retention and repeat service.

Unleashing the Gig Economy: Extending Business Hours

The gig economy has transformed the way that hospitality brands operate. Embracing this power has, and will, empower restaurants to extend business hours, increase their revenue, and have the confidence to rely on their staff's competency.

Closed and short-staffed restaurants are a huge problem, and leveraging the gig economy for critical roles such as catering, to-go specialists, and bartenders are great ways to stifle turnover rates.

About Starr:

Starr Douglas, a dynamic young female executive, is the visionary CEO and Founder of FrontHouz, an innovative on-demand solution for front-of-house restaurant staffing. Her journey to success began early, graduating high school at the remarkable age of 15, and continuing on to GA Tech. Starr's vast expertise extends across various front-of-house roles including bar captain and manager; it was this time in the industry that later inspired her to create a solution for front-of -house staffing. With her vast experience and pioneering spirit, she continues to redefine the hospitality industry, driving FrontHouz to new heights of excellence while delivering hospitality venues peace of mind, additional revenue, and reduced expenses.

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869

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