The coronavirus pandemic and the increasing importance of job security the last couple of years have caused a significant shortage of workers within the hospitality industry. However, it is possible to reduce the impact of the staffing crisis by adopting a digital waiter for your restaurant.
The good thing is that a digital waiter can serve multiple tables and customers at the same time.
A recent survey by BDO revealed that about 58% of UK businesses are struggling to hire staff and fill open roles. Restaurants are the most affected by the staffing crisis since many workers have returned to their countries in the EU. The travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, together with post-Brexit visa requirements, are reasons why many workers will not return to the UK.
Additionally, and as highlighted in the Daily mail, recent increases in the minimum wage made hospitality jobs attractive, but not appealing enough since businesses are still struggling to fill open positions. If not all, most workers are looking for roles where they also get job security. As such, many people are moving to other professions while others choose to take jobs available near their homes.
Restaurants, and other ventures in the hospitality industry face the risk of remaining open, but understaffed. Therefore, knowing how to better operate under these circumstances is highly essential.
As with other industries, hospitality businesses that will not fill open positions in time may face several risks. Understaffing affects the quality of services and hence customer satisfaction and staff wellbeing. Below are some of the possible problems.
With each waiter serving more tables than the recommended average, some customers will experience longer waiting times. For understaffed kitchens, customers may wait longer, and the food quality may as well be lower than expected.
Understaffing is detrimental to employee morale. The few available workers may feel overworked and unappreciated. In return, this may lead to stress, burnout, and resentment. In the long run, your employees will perform poorly and lack the motivation to maintain your organizational culture. Consequently, customers will experience services that are below expected levels, and may hence feel dissatisfied and quit coming back.
With time, resentment may grow to untenable levels leading to an employee quitting. According to PeopleKeep, replacing an employee may cost up to 9 months of their salary to cover the recruitment and training expenses. Additionally, when one employee quits the job, those who remain may tend to disengage and become less productive. Therefore, it is upon business owners to adopt strategies that reduce staff turnover. This may be possible by avoiding overworking employees and embracing employee feedback.
A restaurant or hotel can maintain superior quality services even with less service staff. This is possible through the adoption of technology that can serve as a digital waiter. And even though a digital waiter cannot replace human waiting staff, it makes their job a lot easier by taking part in the ordering process. In return, your employees may remain highly motivated and experience less burnout and stress.
GonnaOrder is one such application that you can use as a digital waiter for your restaurant. With GonnaOrder, a hotel or restaurant manager publishes a store catalogue on the store website and prints QR codes for each table on the premises.
Customers then place orders by scanning the QR codes on the table or directly visiting the store website. This way, the task of taking orders is delegated to the customer, hence significantly reducing the back and forth movement of waiting staff.
Additionally, this increases order accuracy since the backroom staff receive a printed order ready for preparation rather than relying on the handwriting of the waiters.
More importantly, the digital waiter does not take away the human touch of hospitality services. Human waiters have to be available to fulfil orders placed through GonnaOrder. Additionally, waiters also come in handy for cases where customers need assistance placing orders. GonnaOrder has the facility to allow waiters to place orders on behalf of customers.
Improved efficiency per table: Customers will no longer need to wait until a waiter is available to them. They can place orders by themselves and have them served to their table and hence reducing waiting time.
Cover staff deficit: GonnaOrder can help to cover the understaffing problem in your restaurant. Since customers can place orders by themselves, understaffing will almost be a non-issue especially if your kitchen is properly staffed.
Improve waiting staff efficiency: With GonnaOrder as your digital waiter for table ordering, waiting staff will be more involved in serving orders rather than taking new orders. This way, waiters can serve more people with reduced back and forth order confirmation trips.
Lower cost on recruitment and training: Adopting a digital waiter for your restaurant can boost staff morale and productivity. In the long run, this may reduce the risk of staff turnover and hence lower the amount of money spent to recruit and train new staff annually.
GonnaOrder is a leading restaurant technology company that offers online ordering and order management functionalities for hotels and restaurants. We pride ourselves in helping small businesses take ownership of their ventures and grow their revenues.
GonnaOrder has plenty of features and settings that make the day to day running of your hospitality business a lot easier. Contact GonnaOrder today if you would like to find a better way to receive and manage table orders, pick up, or delivery orders effectively.