According to a June survey, the majority of the Seattle restaurant workforce is highly satisfied at work, and they prefer tweaks to existing policies over any major changes that aren't needed, including scheduling changes.
The survey gauged the opinions of more than 700 Seattle restaurant employees. It was administered by EnviroIssues, a Seattle community outreach organization, and was led by the Seattle Restaurant Alliance.
The survey was conducted to ask broad questions about the restaurant industry in Seattle to learn how members can make the lives of their employees better. Questions pertained to hours, salary, scheduling, likes, and dislikes.
The city of Seattle is considering legislating how restaurants can schedule employees with a new law expected to be approved this September. It hired Vigdor Measurement and Evaluation to collect survey data this spring to inform the city's policy.
"The best way to understand what our employees want is to ask them directly," says Jasmine Donovan, VP at Dick's Drive-In Restaurants and board member of the Seattle Restaurant Alliance. "We asked broad questions with the goal of using the survey results to help Seattle Restaurant Alliance members understand the best investments they can make to enhance the lives of their employees."
Survey findings show 86 percent of Seattle restaurant workers are proud to work in the industry. 76 percent work the number of hours they want, and 89 percent agree they can talk to their manager and give input about their work environment, number of hours, and scheduling needs.
Three out of four workers want employers, not government, to design and implement changes that impact them. And, above everything else, workers within certain demographics said access to benefits and higher wages were a higher priority than scheduling.
"This survey presents an opportunity to share some really good pieces about positive employer-employee relationships in Seattle," says Rich Fox, president of the Seattle Restaurant Alliance and owner of Poquitos, Rhein Haus, and Macleod's Scottish Pub. "Many of us are former restaurant employees. We're pleased to see data showing the majority of our employees feel valued and believe they have access to the hours, flexibility, and schedules they need. That being said, our goal is 100 percent satisfaction. We are constantly working to improve the lives of our employees and these results give us specific areas where we can improve. Our work to make those improvements continues with employee-driven focus."
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