Labor continues to be a challenge for restaurant operators. With a historically low employment rate, restaurants are having trouble attracting and retaining quality labor. Low employment means job applicants tend to have the upper hand when it comes to settling for a certain wage or seeking better pay elsewhere.
Other labor-related pressures involve a new minimum salary for overtime eligibility from the Department of Labor, and growing consumer interest in seeing a $15 minimum wage become federal law. The DOL is also proposing further changes to rules regarding tip pooling and tip credit, which has been a particularly confusing subject for the industry during the past few years.