Beat the Restaurant Hiring Shortage with Technology
The ongoing effects of the "Great Resignation" in 2021, where 47 million U.S. workers quit their jobs, continue to be felt, especially in the restaurant industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, restaurants have seen the highest number of resignations among all employment sectors, with the yearly quit rate rising from 4.8% to 6.9%. Many workers have cited low take-home pay as a major reason for quitting.
With restaurants facing record inflation and 53% of Americans reducing their dining out, it is difficult for operators to allocate budget for higher salaries or raises, and more important than ever to improve recruitment and retention efforts.
In terms of recruitment, make sure you’re leveraging available technology to market your jobs, hiring culture, and priorities in positions to actively compete for qualified talent 24/7/365. Engage your candidates and be efficient in your communication to ensure that you’re their employer of choice, otherwise someone else will.
When it comes to retention, technology can help address this problem by improving your service staff’s experience and increasing tips. By moving the central terminal to the servers' handheld device, they can take orders and process payments directly from the table. This allows them to focus more on hospitality and less on administrative tasks, resulting in better customer satisfaction and bigger tips, as well as reduced stress for servers, increased repeat business, and efficiency savings for the restaurant.
Moreover, technology can turn new hires into knowledgeable service staff who provide a personalized dining experience to guests. For instance, the system can provide wine pairing suggestions for each dish as it is ordered, without requiring the staff to have extensive knowledge of wine. This enhances the guest experience and leads to higher tips. Additionally, server mobility pads connected to real-time inventory data ensure that the system only suggests wine that is actually available, avoiding any embarrassing situations.
In conclusion, technology can help you hire the right service staff, and help that service staff perform their job to a higher standard, improving the guest experience, and leading to higher tips. This creates a happier and better-compensated staff, reducing the likelihood of another "Great Resignation," without the need for increased base pay. Technology is playing a vital role in helping restaurants thrive during these challenging economic times.