While a large number of restaurant workers were laid off by the industry due to the pandemic shutdown, many were forced to seek income from online sources. As the e-commerce boom opened up many business and job opportunities, it did not take long for laid off restaurant workers to find a new source of income.
What Job Market Surveys Found Out
Getting laid off was regarded as a blessing in disguise for numerous restaurant workers who already had plans of shifting to a less stressful means of earning a livelihood.
Surveys conducted by job market researchers revealed that about 30% of former restaurant employees were able to find jobs via the Internet, including work-from-home office positions and online teaching jobs,
Black Box/Snagajob said many of the survey respondents said they have left the restaurant industry for good, while about a third of those who responded indicated plans of doing the same. The Snagajob survey data showed that work-for-hire or on-demand hiring, went up by 183% when compared to the hiring rate during the pre-pandemic period.
Apparently, both employees and employers found the working arrangements less stressful as they allowed for more flexibility. According to Warehouse/logistics jobs, the increased hiring followed the boom in online sales that went up by 278%.
Why Former Restaurant Workers Rejected Return-to-Work Calls
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, restaurant jobs were already considered as one of the most stressful low-paying occupations. Many chose not to respond to return-to-work calls or notices, because of the low pay, the irregular and shifting work schedules and the lack of opportunities for career advancements.
However, despite offers of higher hourly wages, many still chose not to return. Social media sites are full of stories about burned out restaurant staff walking out, or of new servers staying on only for a day or for a week at the most.
As it is, restaurants across the US are understaffed that servers are also being tasked to take on kitchen jobs.
Nowadays working in a restaurant has become even more nerve-wracking as employees have to deal with customers who are now more demanding, irrational, impatient, angrier and meaner. Not to forget to mention dealing with those who deliberately go to a restaurant, a diner, a cafe or fast food chain, just to defy the mask- wearing policy.
The Impact of the e-Commerce Boom on the Restaurant Industry
The e-commerce boom also affected the restaurant industry as those with cooking skills found opportunities to use their talent and experience in setting up their online food business.
In fact, they have created a marketing and selling trend of limiting the number of meals and food products they sell during the day. The limited supply provided a steady and definite stream of income, while more customers can’t seem to have enough. Advertising their food business simply required posting of mouthwatering food photos in social media sites,
Other former restaurant workers took to selling skin and hair care products that carry their own brand. Beauty products are among the most sought after e-commerce merchandise that even manufacturers of private label skincare and cosmetic are now connecting to online retailers.
Known as contract manufacturers for businesses like salons, spas, drugstores and dermatology clinics that offer their own brand of and beauty products, they have opened up opportunities for online retailers to create and sell their own brand. In this example of business opportunity discovered by former restaurant workers, they were able to start with as little as $1,000 as minimum investment.
Apparently, many have succeeded as the e-markonlineet analysis for beauty products showed that related sales account for more than 10% of the sales generated by the global, multi billion dollar skin care industry.