By Dickson Chu, CEO, Copper.
The great restaurant industry staffing shortage is just about all anyone can talk about in the industry these days.
Staffs are stretched thin, longtime service industry employees are leaving to pursue other lines of work, and even the most well known restaurant chains have to offer perks like signing bonuses to attract new talent. Staffing levels have gone down, but diner expectations have not. What’s more – More people are starting to eat out more often.
A February 2021 survey of 21,000 diners across North America done by OpenTable and the James Beard Foundation revealed that:
- More than half – 54% – are planning on eating out once or more per week this year.
- 31% are eating out as often as they did prior to the onset of the pandemic.
- 33% planned to reach those levels at some point between April and September.
This is creating more opportunities to delight – or disappoint.
The good news is there are solutions out there that can help you overcome staffing shortages and run a leaner, more efficient operation that lowers your existing staff’s stress levels while helping you meet diners’ high expectations. That’s because even pre-pandemic tools were being developed that automate various steps of running a restaurant, from ordering to inventory management to point of sale.
Here are four solutions that you can implement today to help you get more out of your operations:
#1: Contactless Payments: Copper
Your staff’s time is incredibly valuable these days. One way you can help them operate more efficiently is by implementing Copper’s POS-agnostic contactless payment system to give diners more control over when they pay the check.
Here’s how it works: A secure QR code is printed on the bottom of a receipt. When the diner indicates they are ready, your server can drop the receipt off at their table and the diner can then pay at their leisure. This reduces the amount of time your staff has to spend going back and forth checking to see if the diner is ready to pay, taking their payment to the point of sale system, and returning to the table. By allowing diners to pay at their own pace, you’re empowering your staff to focus on other tasks or serve more customers. You’re also increasing the pace at which tables turn over, allowing you to serve more diners and generate more revenue while at the same time giving those diners more control over their experience.
#2: Inventory Management: MarketMan
MarketMan is an all-in-one inventory management solution that helps your staff keep track of just about everything in a single location in real time.
Here’s how it works: This cloud-based solution helps restaurants run more efficiently by allowing staff to track inventory levels and alerting you to when it’s time to reorder certain ingredients so that you don’t run the risk of disappointing diners by having to tell them their favorite meal isn’t available. MarketMan’s solution also helps you reduce waste and optimize your ordering process while giving you clear insights into how much you’re spending on each ingredient.
#3: Online Ordering and Loyalty: HungerRush
HungerRush is a multifaceted digital and mobile marketing tool that unifies all your ordering channels, allowing diners to order how and when they want to.
Here’s how it works: HungerRush’s ordering tools include a customizable online and mobile ordering platform that makes it easy for you to take online orders regardless of how a customer wants to place them. Its artificial intelligence powered text ordering that allows your diners to simply text their order to you directly from their smartphone. HungerRush also helps you to build stronger relationships with your customers by creating personalized loyalty programs. This helps you generate repeat business and stay top of mind with them when they’ve got a craving.
#4: Operations: Restaurant365
The Restaurant365 platform allows you to streamline all of your back-office operations, including accounting, HR, scheduling, and more.
Here’s how it works: Restaurant365 takes the guesswork out of running your business by allowing you to better track your operational performance, hire and onboard staff, and optimize your staffing levels so you’re never caught flat footed. Its mobile app allows operators to access all this data from anywhere, helping any operation run more smoothly and efficiently.
ShiftPixy is a platform that helps independent contractors pick up shifts in all sorts of businesses, including restaurant and hospitality. Workers register on the platform and then get notified of part-time work in their region.
Here’s how it works: ShiftPixy is a two-way system. Restaurant operators sign up to list shifts that need coverage and workers sign up to find flexible part-time jobs based on their work and training experience. The platform also helps people who are managing multiple part-time gigs stay organized, manages taxes and even gives them access to health benefits.
About the author :
Dickson Chu is CEO of Copper, a contactless payment processing system for the Food and Beverage industry. Mr. Chu has more than 30 years of experience in fintech, including stints at PayPal, Google, and Citi.