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Restaurants Turn To Technology To Offset Labor Shortage

June 11, 2021

People are looking to return to restaurants these days, as vaccination rates are rising and infection rates are dropping. People want to get back to the restaurants that they enjoyed before the start of the pandemic. Restaurants are also being allowed to operate at a greater capacity, plus curfews have been lifted throughout the country. 

There’s also a problem, many restaurants are struggling to find employees. As demand rises, restaurant owners are looking to find new workers who can handle the demand. Many old employees at these restaurants might have moved on to different jobs during the pandemic. Some people who might have been available for work have also entered different work fields. The fact that so many entities are currently hiring at the same time is also making things a challenge for businesses to manage.

Restaurant owners are using technology to help them stay operational and to overcome some of the issues that have come about surrounding the current dining labor shortage. Many of these efforts come from things that they had started doing as dining areas had been shut down and businesses could not handle anything other than delivery or carry-out service.

Working With Delivery Partners

One way how restaurants are staying afloat amid labor shortages entails linking their ordering apps with different third-party services. Restaurants are producing apps that can connect with food delivery services or with general ordering platforms. They can upload their menus online and accept different payments through these sources. They can also forward delivery information to people who work for third-party services. The work available here makes it easier for restaurants to stay active and functional.

Delivery service providers could be useful for reaching people who might not be willing to reach a physical restaurant. While people might be comfortable going to in-person dining environments, that doesn’t mean every single person will feel confident about what’s open.

Finding Other People

Those who might not already have jobs and are not actively looking for anything new could also benefit from what restaurants are offering. Restaurants are bringing in temporary workers who have other jobs to help them manage many operations in their spare time. The work is about getting some extra income on the side, although it could lead to further employment opportunities for those who might especially be interested in what is being offered at a place.

Restaurants can bring in temporary workers who can handle many tasks, like taking orders and sending them out online. They could also pick up and deliver food as necessary. The cooking staff at a restaurant will continue to produce the foods, while the temporary workers will be there to deliver the products as necessary.

Hiring Analysis Is Critical

Some additional hiring analysis functions can also help restaurants bring in new workers. One example of how tech is helping dining establishments find new employees is through the Landed app. Landed is a new program that helps restaurants and other businesses find people who upload videos of themselves explaining what makes them ideal employees. A business can review each candidate on the app and analyze them based on things like their communication skills, when they are available to work, and many other factors of value.

Paradox is another hiring analysis program to review. Paradox is a text message-based system that screens applicants and plans interviews by text message. The system can help identify candidates who sign up for the service based on their skills, when they are open, and their locations. The smart assistant on the Paradox program will schedule interviews with employees by text, making it easier for restaurants to communicate with possible hires sooner and easier.

Kiosks May Also Work

Self-serve kiosks may also help in some situations. It may be easier for restaurants to bring in specific employees who focus more on food preparation and to avoid having to hire attendants if they use kiosks. A kiosk allows the customer to review a menu through a digital platform. The customer can then select what foods one wants to order and pay for their purchase through the platform.

Kiosks are useful for how they give the customer more control over one’s order. They also reduce the risk of order errors. Employers will appreciate how kiosks reduce the need to hire more people, plus they are often cheaper to operate.

Other Ways For Taking Orders

Restaurants that might not be willing to bring in a new wait staff are also finding it easy for them to take orders through technology. In addition to online orders through a website or mobile device, customers can also use call-ahead services. These may entail people contacting a person in the kitchen or another person who might work a register. The system allows a customer to pick up something when one arrives at the restaurant. The customer could also bring the food home, or that person might enjoy a dine-in experience if one prefers. But the effort will not require as much staff to keep it working.

The Rise of the Ghost Kitchen

One other interesting tech-related development to explore entails ghost kitchens. A ghost kitchen is a delivery-only restaurant that delivers foods to people without there being a customer-facing presence. The customer orders food for delivery on a website or app, and the ghost kitchen worker brings the food out at a time of the customer’s choosing. The system provides a unique approach for ordering, plus it is a more cost-effective solution for handling food. Ghost kitchens are more likely to appear in urban areas, although the concept could prove more interesting to some urban areas.

Whether it entails focusing on digital efforts or using new means for finding employees, restaurants are finding ways to get around hiring obstacles. Restaurants will continue to be in demand as time progresses, so the need to use the best materials for work will be critical to success.

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