Why Is There an Ongoing Restaurant Labor Shortage?
The labor shortage has been quite a challenge for the restaurant industry. In fact, according to CBS News, nearly 4 in 10 restaurants report that they’re having difficulty hiring enough staff. Thousands of restaurant workers were laid off or furloughed during the start of the COVID-19 crisis because of the severe economic downturn. Many restaurant staff have since gone on to other industries.
These are some reasons they’ve moved on.
- Health concerns with Covid, and lack of health insurance being offered
- Dealing with bad customers who disregard the health procedures
- Job instability along with shortened hours
- Bad work culture and limited support for work-life balance
- Low pay
- Lack of promotional opportunities
When you’re looking to hire, keep these considerations in mind. It may be beneficial to market your business with higher starting wages, promotional opportunities, flexible schedules, health benefits, and a friendly work environment.
As you know, servers are a valuable part of the restaurant experience. They assist guests with ordering, dining, and payment. If you’re short-staffed, the amount of tables that can be serviced is limited. If service is continuously delayed, both guests and servers will be frustrated, which will have a significant negative impact on your business.
Here are 6 ways that technology can help fill the gaps created by the labor shortage.
- Increase production without overburdening employees by implementing online ordering. Restaurants can serve more customers by offering online ordering. This increases profitability while also removing the need for a designated person to take to-go orders via phone call. You now have one less role to worry about!
- With QR Order & Pay, speed up the ordering process and boost guest satisfaction. Don’t bother with traditional menus; instead, have your customers scan a QR code with their smartphone to browse a digital menu, place an order, and pay. As a result, servers will be less stressed and have more time to focus on delivering meals to tables and creating a positive customer experience.
- A mobile POS will help with order accuracy and payment convenience. Customers and employees will have a straightforward ordering and payment experience with SkyTab Mobile. Servers no longer have to return to a POS station to put in orders; instead, they may do so directly at the table, ensuring order correctness. SkyTab also streamlines kitchen operations, increases table turns, and servers typically see higher tips as they can spend more time at tables engaging with customers. Since it offers full mobility Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity, SkyTab is also ideal for taking curbside takeout payments or even on the road for delivery.
- Reduce labor overhead through automation with a Kiosk. Digital kiosks are large touch-screen displays that allow guests to place orders and pay without the need for staff assistance. They are ideal for quick-service restaurants, as they save money by avoiding the need to hire cashiers and allowing personnel to move to more valued positions such as servers or chefs. This will ensure that the dining room doors remain open! Another advantage is that customers are likely to spend more money and opt for add-ons when they use kiosks.
- The Lighthouse Business Manager System minimizes time-consuming administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on running your business. Implementing Lighthouse Business Manager allows you to work smarter, not harder. This productivity software gives you access to critical reports and insights, as well as management features, like employee scheduling and customer engagement. Take full advantage of Lighthouse by using direct integrations such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, and more in its Marketplace.
- Improve operations with an industry-leading POS. When you hire new staff, you want to use restaurant technology that is straightforward so they can focus on operating the business and serving customers. Meadows Hospitality Systems offers the Restaurant Manager Point-of-Sale System integrated with Shift 4 Payment Processing to provide customers with industry-leading restaurant technology and local support. MHS makes the onboarding process simple by going onsite and instructing personnel on how to use the technology effectively.
The future of the restaurant labor shortage is unknown.
No one knows when the workforce will be able to keep up with demand. Using technology to adapt during labor shortages is a smart strategy to keep your business running smoothly while also providing a better employee experience that helps you stand out as a top employer for local candidates.