June 20, 2023
Lauren Platero

Labor: Labor Meaning and Definition In the F&B Industry

Labor plays and immense role in the food and beverage (F&B) industry. From waiters and hotels to various types of chefs, there are so many positions that keep the ecosystem afloat. 

The restaurant industry serves as the main focal point of F&B. However, there are food service departments in almost every industry. So when you consider restaurant operations in multiple industries, fine details can differ. Once you can distinguish key traits, you'll be able to achieve restaurant success anywhere you work. 

Throughout this blog, we'll delve into the labor meaning, and its role across the F&B industry. From the standard definition to how it differs in one sub-sector to the next, we've got you covered.

Read on:

Labor Meaning 

Labor refers to the time and effort necessary from humans to run a business. It can consist of leisurely or high-intensity activities. It all depends on the type of business and each role. 

In order to hire someone for their labor, skills, education and experience are essential factors. Without the right combination of these factors, a business might be unable to provide a product or service. In turn, there are certain requirements for every position across varying fields.

You can define labor in one of four categories, which include:

  1. Skilled: Labor within this category usually involves employees who have a distinct skill set. An education or training in a specialty are vital. Prime examples include roles like doctors and pilots. 
  2. Unskilled:This portion of the labor force comprises roles that are easy to train. In fact, they require little to no background experience. Some good examples within this category include housekeeping and stocking associates. 
  3. Manual: Labor within this bucket requires physical work. More often than not, these jobs can be very strenuous. However, this is not always the case. Popular examples of manual labor include roles in construction and agriculture. 
  4. Intellectual: When book smarts and logic must be part of the equation, this refers to intellectual labor. In these roles, stellar decision-making skills are also super valuable. Jobs that fall within this box include professors, lawyers, and managers. 

 Note that different positions can be a cross of more than one of these labor types. For instance, people in the medical field pursue skilled and intellectual labor. Meanwhile, a restaurant's wait staff may consist of unskilled and manual labor.

The Importance of Labor

Labor holds an immense amount of importance within the F&B industry. In fact, the labor cost should be one of the first things a business owner should map out. 

In this day and age, many people tend to believe that robotic solutions and artificial intelligence (AI) will take over. Some even predict that these inventions will replace humans and eliminate jobs. However, this is extremely unlikely, if not impossible. 

There will always be a need for human skills, interactions, and performance. Maybe you prioritize hiring staff who can craft delicious recipes. Or, you value those who provide attentive customer service and make logical decisions. By replacing them with restaurant tech completely, you run the risk of errors. 

Don't lose sight of the fact that innovative restaurant technology can drastically improve a business. However, the combination of such labor solutions and a talented team is the perfect blend for optimal success. But speaking of newer inventions, let's discuss the evolution of the labor meaning. See below:

The Evolution of Labor

Did you know that at one time, the labor meaning referred to something completely different? Before the world experienced a digital transformation, labor was much more intensive and physical. Fields that consisted of “labor” were those such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and so on. Hence, the term, "labor-intensive."

However, once the introduction and use of technology became mainstream, the labor meaning began referring to work, in a more general sense. Now, any kind of work that requires a person to exude energy and time falls within the labor definition. That's why we now have general terms, such as the "labor force."

Labor Definition In the F&B Industry 

Labor plays a major role across the F&B industry. From waiting tables in restaurants to kitchen staff making it all happen behind the scenes, so many people are necessary. Plus, each role within a business greatly impacts the financial standing and current budget. 

Without it though, remaining in business and profitable would be impossible. So, let's jumo into what labor looks like across the F&B industry.

Labor In Restaurants 

Labor in restaurants comprises two separate divisions: front of house and back of house. To break it down in simple terms, think of front of house restaurant operations as being the customer-facing parts. Meanwhile, back of house operations consists of all the things that go on “behind the scenes.” 

Front of house restaurant operations consist of the following roles:

Meanwhile, back of house restaurant operations consist of the following roles:

Labor In Hotels

The F&B and hotel industry intertwine quite a bit. Weather you’re thinking of hotel restaurants or in room dining, it’s all a part of the experience. So, labor might look a bit different in these establishments compared to restaurants. 

You’ll have to hire the same staff members as you would in an eatery, and then some. Or, you’ll have to cross-train many staff members. For instance, there must be people who can deliver hotel room service orders. And, those who prepare the complementary breakfast might be different from the on-premise restaurant staff. 

Hotels can range from casual inns to luxurious resorts. With this in mind, the cost of labor and employment rates can be on opposite ends of the spectrum, too. To combat work overload, try emulating another hotel for inspiration, then carefully build your team accordingly.

Labor for Venues

Hotel banquet halls, live music venues, and country clubs are just a few examples of venues that interact with the F&B industry. In these establishments, labor can drastically differ. For instance, country clubs might need staff similar to a restaurant. However, music and sporting venues just need staff members to run concession stands. This means that staff development will look different in each business, too.

More casual and self-service businesses don’t run risks such as a restaurant labor shortage. There’s also a much lower labor cost, as these business models rely heavily on meal preparation and wholesale goods.

Frequently Asked Questions About Labor 

Labor comprises so many details, departments, and industries. It’s another term for the workforce, which means it drastically affects the economy and each market. Want a brief refresher of the basics? Read on:

What Is the Definition of Labor?

The definition of labor refers to the act of investing time and energy into a company. For instance, the labor force consists of the people who work within a business.

What Is An Example of Labor?

An example of labor would be the wait staff that works in a restaurant. By taking orders and serving dishes, they’re the employees that keep operations in motion. 

What Are the Four Types of Labor?

The four types of labor are:

  1. Skilled
  2. Unskilled
  3. Manual 
  4. Intellectual 

What Does It Mean to Work In Labor?

Working in labor or a labor force simply means to hold employment. However, some people use this phrasing to refer to manual work and physical jobs. 

What Kind of Work Is Labor?

Any kind of \ work is considered labor. The meaning of the terming simply refers to the energy and time given by an employee to an organization. 

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Key Takeaways 

You can’t argue that labor is the #1 necessity to keep businesses in motion. However, a labor shortage can hinder operations. At Revolution Ordering, there are numerous solutions that can reduce labor in the workplace. These features allow for cost savings and efficiency. Want to learn all about them? Book a demo with us today--we can't wait to simplify your business!