How to Empower Restaurant Staff and Retain Talent with Technology
Talent retention in the restaurant industry and high turnover has always been an issue in the restaurant industry. Lately, as we have reached the end of a major industry disruption, restaurant labor issues have been front and center as a significant number of hospitality workers have chosen to leave the industry to further their education, get jobs in other sectors and pursue other goals.
As restaurants and foodservice organizations seek to redefine what great service means for the rest of the decade, how are they best tackling this immediate labor shortage problem? As they address the broader issues of how to make foodservice jobs more attractive, how is cutting-edge foodservice technology helping organizations create a more supportive environment for workers and, in ultimately a better experience for customers by extension? Here are some ideas to consider.
Technology to support, not replace
Innovative restaurants and foodservices know that the way forward is not to replace people with technology for greater efficiency and cost savings. Instead, they’re looking to give service teams more attention to make their jobs more meaningful, less stressful, and generally more efficient. This is to achieve the main objectives of the company; higher volumes, check sizes and profitability.
Everyone wants to be good at their job on some level and then be valued and rewarded accordingly when they do their job well. Investing in technology to enable this deep desire is important for instilling pride as well as eliminating stress. When workers have the solutions they need and the infrastructure in place to support their success, that’s when they begin to feel that what they’re doing matters, has impact and is valued. Investment in technology to support staff also reflects investment in staff empowerment.
Relieve staff stress by diversifying how customers get what they want
What are other ways to empower staff and contribute to their success? One way is to change the dynamic on how to define and then deliver the best possible customer experience. This was very well illustrated by the incredible increase in mobile orders via third-party apps in 2020 and 2021, and QR scans on sites or from websites. Mobile technology and the systems that support it have changed the landscape for good by diversifying the way customers get what they want while relieving staff who have to manage the details of each order and instead allowing them to focus on execution.
That’s not all, however. Kiosk options and table options also help expand options for customers to interact with an offering in a meaningful and accessible way. The results are reduced queues, shorter wait times and fewer missed details. When staff are not stressed by queues of impatient customers facing order errors, and are instead supported by the solutions in place to enable their best work, these staff are more likely to stay in their jobs and in the workplace. ‘industry.
Technology manages the details, people manage the experience
Fortunately, the restaurant industry has been moving in this direction for some time. Innovative organizations centralize menu management to reflect offering details. Details are managed by the solution, ranging from special offers to day and season specific items, combos and new items. This is complete with integrations at every level to help staff promote the offer more effectively without having to track the details themselves.
When menu display, POS and KDS solutions are synced through seamless integration, and when everyone at every station knows the price and item details are correct, because centrally managed in the cloud, they can focus on speed, courtesy and creating a friendly atmosphere for improving the customer experience. When it’s easier for them to do their job well without worrying too much, it makes the job more rewarding.
Technology cannot solve all problems immediately
The labor shortage situation in restaurants touches on things that technology cannot immediately solve. Taking a strategic, long-term approach to nurturing a talent pipeline means implementing higher salaries, better benefits, and building the potential for better work-life balance in the industry. But at the same time, an investment in technology can help your organization create a more supportive environment for your staff to feel valued as you consider those bigger questions of how technology can also help you preserve margins and maximize profit potential.
In addition to the other things we’ve talked about, the technology can solve things like matching performance with rewards with things available in data, centralized in the cloud. But it’s important to understand that success is a moving target. An ongoing set of conversations about how to innovate as technology and consumer culture evolve together will be key to maintaining momentum.
Choose the right partners
A crucial factor in this regard is choosing the right partners, whether engaging with new ones or assessing the status of current partners. How do we do this best? We’ve created a resource to help you answer that question.
You can get your copy of this resource here.
Infor is a global leader in industry-specific enterprise cloud software. We develop complete solutions for our target industries, including industrial manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, food and beverage, automotive, aerospace and defense and high technology. Infor’s business-critical applications and services are designed to deliver lasting business benefits with security and faster return on investment. We are obsessed with delivering successful business results for clients. More than 65,000 organizations in more than 175 countries rely on Infor’s 17,000 employees to help them achieve their business goals. As a Koch company, our financial strength, ownership structure and long-term vision enable us to foster long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with our customers. Visit www.infor.com.