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Good Times & Bad Times

Note this chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. My 2011 prediction that the then-very-poor labor market would eventually end has apparently been verified. As restaurant/catering veterans know, while this trend represents good economic activity, these conditions can make it very hard to find good employees.

Who you gonna call?

There’s nothing like being so busy you don’t know how you are going to get the food out. My followers know that I have previously explained how to get orders delivered on a very busy day. Today I’d like to take that one step further and make sure you know how to position yourselves for the labor issues that many of our colleagues are seeing now.


You may remember my comment that we as entrepreneurs are different. Our businesses are many times also our lives—but our employees don’t necessarily feel the same way. One thing I have noticed over the years is the mental and physical toll that results from the continuous pursuit of money. While payday is a great day for our employees, that day may not be so friendly to us since we need to fund it. It’s not hard to see the diametrically opposed perceptions of owners and employees, and if we as owners are not careful, the never-ending need for cash can cause us to do the following things that signal to our employees that we may not be the best bosses to work for:

1) We develop a short fuse and become easily aggravated over trivial things.
2) We become upset if someone is a few minutes late for even a good reason.
3) We subconsciously blame employees for getting sick.
4) We develop little tolerance for error.
5) We constantly micro-manage and want to leave our own personal stamp on all facets of the business.
6) We are reluctant to grant time-off for good reasons like doctor’s appointments and family emergencies.
7) We become distrustful of everyone.

The opposite

When employees are hard to find, we need to do everything we can to keep the ones we have happy. On an extremely busy day, everyone will need to step up, and no one is going to want to help you if frankly, you always act like a jerk. Consider points one through seven and do the opposite; then watch the positive effect this will have on your entire operation.


Michael Rosman is a member of the Catersource consulting team. If you would like information about him coming to your business to address your specific needs, please email Carl Sacks at [email protected]. His book, Lessons Learned From Our Mistakes – and other war stories from the catering battlefield is available through the Catersource storeYou can visit Michael’s website at email [email protected].


Michael Rosman

Michael Rosman

Owner/Founder, The Corporate Caterer, Boston, MA

Michael Rosman is the founder of, a consulting, coaching and lead generation company for businesses that aspire to take their corporate catering business to the next level or start a new division. He is also a Senior Consultant with He can be reached at [email protected].