Skilled labor is hard to come by and even difficult to retain in the restaurant industry nowadays. Recruitment and retention have always been a source of frustration for restaurant owners and operators, even before the pandemic.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the restaurant business. Many restaurants were forced to close down, while others had the difficult option of laying off valuable employees and reducing their workforce.
As per a report, 10,000 restaurants were closed in a matter of 3 months. Millions of jobs were lost during this pandemic and even after the opening of restaurants in 2021, labor shortage still continues to be the number one concern for restaurants.
Your restaurant may have great food and service, however, without the manpower running a restaurant is impossible.
Innowi brings a lot of solutions to the table to overcome the labor shortage in the restaurant industry. We know that 37% of restaurant operators plan to reduce labor costs with technology and they are not wrong.
In this article, we’ll shed light on some methods through which you can help your restaurant overcome the labor shortage.
Promote Staff Retention
Look inside your restaurant before you start recruiting new employees and figure out what it was about your restaurant that made your employee quit. Employee departure interviews, which consist of a conversation with a departing employee about their time with your company, are one of the most effective techniques for improving culture and workplace happiness. You get it straight from the horse’s mouth: the good, the bad, and the ugly, as well as maybe some pointers on how to improve.
Aside from departing workers, your current employees all have their personal perspectives on what it’s like to work at your restaurant. Request input from them and build an action plan based on what you hear often. Transparency, honesty, gratitude, and respect are all ways to develop employee loyalty.
Conduct one-on-one meetings with each of your employees regularly. Not only is this a terrific method to get input on your workplace, but it also makes employees feel supported, helps fix problems before they become major issues, and shows them that you care about their professional development.
Invest in a Restaurant POS System
Technology like a restaurant POS system can help you work more efficiently with fewer people. These types of technology simplify the dining experience by allowing visitors to order and pay at their leisure, reducing the number of waiters required on the floor (and raising average check sizes!).
Servers may focus on the hospitality components of their work when visitors order themselves, such as talking to and engaging with customers, offering menu guidance, and checking in on meals.
Guests may order food and beverages anytime they want, rather than waiting for a waitress to arrive before placing another order.
Staff is saving time and enhancing service efficiency, while visitors remain pleased and well-cared for.
Innowi offers the following cutting-edge devices to optimize restaurant operations:
- Integrated Kiosks
- Mobile Handheld Devices
- Countertop POS
- Kitchen Display Systems
Install these devices in your restaurant and enjoy high profitability.
Cross-Train Your Staff – Make Them An Octopus
Employees that are willing to learn new skills that will help their coworkers and themselves are good employees. Your restaurant’s overall efficiency will suffer if workers are not cross-trained and can only function in one capacity. It doesn’t make sense to have a bartender, server, host, and busser out on the floor at the same time on a quiet night with only a few tables filled. You can eliminate one of those positions for the shift if your bartender knows how to serve tables, your server understands how to step in as a host, and your busser can speed meals.
Automate Repetitive Tasks Through Kiosks
With unemployment low and the minimum wage rising, restaurant owners of all kinds are turning to autonomous technology to improve worker efficiency and, in some circumstances, replace or supplement restaurant staff. Restaurants can concentrate on the customer experience by automating repetitive operations using kiosks.
Innowi’s kiosk solution can help you reduce human errors, promote faster order processing, and drive down labor costs. It is literally a digital employee that you can add to your restaurant’s workforce at a minimal cost when compared to the average wage rates of workers in the restaurant industry.
Restaurants should think about two factors before using any form of autonomous technology: The first is the customer experience, which entails tailoring services and procedures to meet the demands and expectations of today’s customers, and the second is how the workforce and workflow will evolve and be planned for.
Be Flexible with Working Hours
It might be beneficial to take a step back and assess whether your operating hours are increasing your labor shortage expense. It’s natural to want to stay open as long as possible in the hopes of attracting more customers, but in some circumstances, this strategy might backfire as employees might leave for another restaurant with better working hours.
Adaptability in this area may help you overcome your labor shortage problem and save money on labor by reducing the amount of time your employees spend doing nothing during sluggish times at the start or conclusion of service.
Increase Employee Benefits
In a new survey this week by One Fair Wage of more than 2,800 workers, more than half (53%) reported that they are thinking about leaving restaurants. Restaurant workers are paid minimum wage and many workers leave jobs or keep switching very often where pay is low and risks are high.
Paying competitive wages and increasing employee benefits is a major reason why employees would stay at your restaurant. They will see the workplace as their second home and will actually enjoy working at your restaurant.
Make Health and Safety a Priority
Many people are hesitant to return to work without the chance to take paid time off after a global epidemic that placed restaurant workers at risk of catastrophic disease. Giving employees time off to avoid burnout or to ensure they don’t transmit COVID-19 or another sickness to the rest of the team is a vital way to demonstrate your appreciation.
While it may increase employee happiness and retention, it will be a cost to your company. Staff will be more loyal to you if they realize your devotion to them. This will also help you recruit new employees.
The restaurant business has been through a lot recently, and recovering from COVID-19 will not be easy or quick. Because the present labor shortage will last for some time, it’s critical to concentrate on the factors you can control, such as concentrating on your differentiators, leveraging the strength of current workers, and doing everything you can to help them succeed.
Conclusion – Labor Shortage Can Be Solved
Labor shortage is difficult to overcome for any business owner or operator, especially in the restaurant field. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to attract and retain skilled labor.
The idea is to make your crew feel respected, properly rewarded, and well cared for, and your restaurant will prosper with some time, attention, and the above recommendations in your back pocket.
How Innowi Can Help?
Innowi believes in partnerships. We partner with restaurants that need our help to sustain and grow. Our restaurant POS system (hardware & software) is completely risk-free for 30 days. Install it and see a significant boost in your restaurant sales.