TECH: 10 Technologies Transforming the Restaurant Industry
Restaurant owners need to be creative to keep attracting new customers month after month. It’s not easy to maintain profitability in the long-term perspective, so the average lifetime for a restaurant is only 4.5 years. Most entrepreneurs in this field of work don’t respond quickly to changes in the marketplace, forcing them to close their outlets sooner than later.
Technological advancements and the Millennials’ preferences are now posing new questions to the restaurant owners. With so many novelties in the IT industry, they need to figure out which one to embrace and which ones to discard. It’s a serious issue that has the potential to make or break the entire business. In this post, we will describe 10 technologies transforming the restaurant industry.
DID YOU KNOWS…
With the unemployment rate super low, fast food joints are struggling to fill their staff needs. It’s gotten so bad that some restaurants like Taco Bell and Shake Shack are throwing “Hiring Parties” with free food, games and swag in an attempt to woo new hires. Attendees were also given a chance to interview on the spot. Taco Bell reported a 75 on-person applicants and 40 new hires -- more than 50% of their typical 20% hiring rate – and more than 300 online job applicants. So if you’re looking to fill your restaurant’s staff, think about throwing a party to pique interest.
Highest Midterm in Over a Century
After a steady volume of early votes, predictions of a high turnout at the midterms have turned out to be accurate. Last week, the U.S. Elections Project published preliminary numbers and 49.2% of early voters cast their ballots -- that's nearly 116 million people. That marks the highest midterm turnout since 1914 when it hit 50.4% and women still didn't have the right to vote. 25 states had a turnout or 50% or higher with six exceeding 60%: Colorado (62.2%), Minnesota (64.3%), Montana (62.1%), Oregon (61.3%) and Wisconsin (61.2%).
Behind the Numbers: Thanksgiving
Americans eat a lot of turkey on Thanksgiving but the holiday isn't just about the famous bird. There's a lot more to the traditional family feast and people will also flock to buy copious amounts of potatoes, ham, cranberries and other items. According to Nielsen, shoppers will buy 365 million pounds of turkey in the week before and the week of Thanksgiving, along with 193 million pounds of potatoes and 77 million pounds of ham. We will also splurge $137 million on frozen vegetables, $117 million on frozen sweet goods and $74 million on spices. Happy feasting!
SOURCE YOUR STAFF BETTER
Why it matters to you: Improve your recruiting game to fix your staffing challenges.
It’s time to take the gloves off in this whole employee recruiting challenge. For years traditional approaches have been fine, but with under 4% unemployment nationwide the circumstances call for a more creative approach to finding the best candidates. This guide to creative ways to recruit staff is filled with some fun ideas. Some we have covered previously like including tech in your operations as a way of securing better Millennial candidates. However, others are more creative, like the idea of adding a 2% guest check service charge for all food items that is directed into BoH staff wages. Imagine searching for competent kitchen staff armed with a bonus of additional wages based on food sales and performance.
Another great suggestion from the blog is thinking outside the box about benefits you can provide. Some operators have added paid time off for pregnant mom’s like Noodle House, and the Kimpton Hotel system have a perk where staff can bring their dog’s the work. The lesson here is simple: in the tightest labor market in the last 50 years in this country, you have to find new ways to deliver qualified candidates into your selection process. What are you doing now to identify the best candidates and induce them to come to work for you? Please tell us and we will share with our community.
MALE-ING IT IN!
Why it matters to you: Women in your kitchen might be experiencing harassment and you can fix it.
Kitchens are tough environments. They’re hot, filled with continuous pressure and, let’s be honest, male dominated. The latter issue is a less pervasive in the front of the house where the major percentage of staff is female and likely the GM of the restaurant has a connected relationship with them. Consequently, female staffers in your kitchen feel very alone when they are exposed to terrible and typical kitchen behavior. Add to that the incredible pressure on the labor market for qualified BoH staff and you have a recipe where bad things can happen.
Have no fear though; there are solutions if you have the energy to implement them. Why not identify an HR liaison? This person would be introduced to your kitchen and service staff as the one to approach when they have concerns about the behavior they see. Also, make all of your HR policies available in Spanish, too. This will ensure any Latin speakers in your kitchen know the rules and are aware of their required behavior standard. Of course, you can take the easy way out and just hire women for your kitchens. Don’t believe the old adage that they can’t open jars and stuff. Today’s female kitchen professionals are up to every task.