Restaurant hiring is in an interesting state in 2021 as small restaurants and even large chains struggle to lure employees back into their establishments. Some restaurants are raising wages while other chains are looking to hire 20,000 employees at a time when hiring one or two seems impossible for some restaurants.
In an effort to stay afloat and attract employees, restaurants are turning to technology to fill the void.
3 Technologies Helping Restaurants Solve the Hiring Crisis
1. Gig Economy Platforms
A lot of eateries are having issues with everything from mobile ordering to in-person ordering because they simply don't have the staff to accommodate their needs. But all of that is changing thanks to the gig economy.
One prime example is Bite Ninja which many people haven't heard of before but is becoming popular.
There are others, too, such as GrubHub that offer a similar service to Bite Ninja. Yet, Bite goes above and beyond by offering:
- Remote teams and virtual staffing
- Trained employees that can take orders from your restaurant
- Visual ordering allowing customers to have a personalized experience
Bite Ninja offers an experience similar to Uber where customers have the opportunity to order from your establishment without actually being present.
The video experience is more personal, and the platform makes mobile and online ordering simple and easy for restaurants. It's a win-win-win situation for everyone involved including you, customers and Bite Ninja.
Customer experience is also much higher which is a great way to slowly move from online ordering to in-person ordering.
2. New Point of Sales Systems
What does a POS system have to do with sales? A lot. If you're struggling to hire employees, you still need to be able to fulfill orders without impacting the customer experience. One method of alleviating the pressure on your business is to offer what is known as point of sales on tables.
If you've been in Applebee's, they offer something similar.
These systems can help you with restaurant hiring shortfalls in several key ways:
- Customers can order directly from their table which helps save waitstaff from having to go from table to table for basic ordering.
- Customers that are still concerned about the pandemic can feel more comfortable with less interaction.
- Ordering is more streamlined with less risk of errors and customer complaints.
If, for example, you only have two people waiting tables instead of your normal three-person waitstaff, leveraging the POS systems above can help drastically. Since staff is there to answer questions and put food on the table, they spend a lot of time interacting with customers.
Interaction is reduced drastically allowing two people to cover more tables without increasing the wait time for customers.
Kitchen staff will also run more efficiently because they'll receive their orders faster than if a waiter or waitress had to run the orders to the kitchen. When it comes to complaints and errors, the customer is fully in charge of the ordering process which reduces error risks.
Overall, if you want to streamline the ordering process, reduce the risk of error and improve customer service, point of sales on tables is a great opportunity. You can leverage this technology during the lull in restaurant hiring and keep it long after because it will only improve the service of your customers.
3. Ordering Online
Another way to help improve efficiency while restaurant hiring remains low is to offer mobile and online ordering solutions. Cooks are still sitting in the kitchen, working to create great, tasty dishes.
The main issue is not the cooking but the serving of your food.
You can still take orders and have food ready for people with online and mobile ordering systems. These forms of ordering will benefit your restaurant in several key ways:
- Employees won't have to spend time taking or processing orders
- Ordering can still take place without any strain on staff
- You'll be prepared for any future issues
COVID-19 has shown the world that everything can come to an abrupt halt at any time. Restaurants that have been able to withstand closures and limited capacity may have a benefit in the future because they're now prepared for anything.
When another pandemic hits or a crisis occurs, these restaurants will already have measures in place to continue taking orders and making money.
And consumer behavior has also shifted, leading many consumers to prefer ordering online or doing curbside pickup. There will still be a portion of your consumer base that prefers ordering online and picking up food for years to come.
Ordering online future proofs your restaurant and improves efficiency.
Other Ways Restaurants are Approaching Restaurant Job Hiring
Technology isn't the only thing that is helping businesses during the restaurant hiring crisis. Some restaurants are going the extra mile to rapidly increase their restaurant staff hiring. A few of the approaches that are working well include:
- Sign on bonuses. A lot of industries are offering sign on bonuses, and these bonuses have always been rare in the restaurant industry. But, we're now seeing some restaurants offering $100 or more to people that they hire as a sign on bonus.
- Raising wages. Employees are used to restaurants paying them far below minimum wage and relying on tips. We're seeing a lot of restaurants offering higher wages, and some, like Chipotle offering $15. There are some, such as Sheetz, offering $2 wage increases and an additional $1 for summer hours.
If you're still having issues with restaurant hiring, you may want to start with the best hiring methods that are working in 2021:
- Referrals. By far, the best way to find new employees is through referrals. Approximately 49% of new hires are referrals,
- Job boards or websites. Posting on your company's website or local job boards is how 32% of restaurants are finding employees.
And the remaining methods include social media, walk-ins and other.
The hiring process for restaurants is difficult in today's market, but you can still find employees if you offer a decent hourly wage, bonuses or use the technology outlined above.