Restaurant Industry Suffers Labor Crunch

July 24, 2001


July 24, 2001

BMCC’s Institute for Business Trends Analysis Finds that
Job Openings Will Exceed Demand through 2008
The restaurant industry is enduring its worse skilled labor crisis in 30 years, according to a report to be released at the end of the this month by the Institute for Business Trends Analysis of the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

The report on restaurant employment trends will be published in the next issue of the Downtown Business Quarterly. It states that demand for labor exceeds supply in the restaurant industry; retail food salaries have exceeded the rate of inflation; and recruitment and retention of quality employees is a challenge for managers and owners of restaurants. The publication also reports that the job market in the restaurant industry is so strong that the number of job openings is projected to exceed demand at least through 2008. The conclusions in the report are based on research, analyses of data, and interviews with professionals in the food service industry.

The report also states that while lower Manhattan has lost cafeteria-style eating establishments it has gained in upscale, multi-star restaurants; it is a destination for fine dining. The loss of cafeterias is attributable to the relocation of some large financial institutions from downtown to midtown. But the increase of top-rated restaurants is a boon for the community, the report’s authors believe. Among the significant restaurants located in that part of town are Danube, Tribeca Bar and Grill, Nobu, Bouley Bakery, Montrachet, Chanterelle, Pico, and Windows on the World.

“The drop in the number of cafeteria-style eating establishments and the increase in the number of number of table service restaurants is great for downtown,” said Rodney Alexander, director of the Institute for Business Trends Analysis. “It means that the efforts on the part of government officials and business people and organizations like the Downtown Alliance to create a 24-hour community have been successful.”

The Downtown Business Quarterly also includes an article by Lyne Etienne, market research associate for the Institute for Business Trends Analysis, about the history of the fast-food industry. It also features an interview with Rocco Damato, CEO of A.L. Bazzini Company Inc., a nuts and dried food wholesaler and retail establishment with annual sales of $13 million.

The Institute for Business Trends Analysis generates and analyzes data concerning the economic infrastructure of the region and serves as a valued resource to the business community in lower Manhattan. Through reports assessing the employment needs of the business community, the Institute for Business Trends Analysis helps insure that the college’s curriculum addresses the needs of its students.

The Downtown Business Quarterly compiles data from a range of sources and each issue explores different segments of the downtown business community. Other issues that have been addressed by the Quarterly have included new media, telecommunications, manufacturing, and print media.
Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) is one of 21 units comprising the City University of New York (CUNY). Located in Tribeca, one of the fastest growing regions in New York City, BMCC serves nearly 24,000 students in its credit and non-credit programs, making it the largest community college in the CUNY system.

Copies of the report and interviews are available upon request.

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