What is the solution to the staffing problem in restaurants?

Let’s face it, the world is facing a labour shortage nowadays, likely due to the fact that the world is just beginning to return to normalcy post-pandemic. And with this worldwide labour shortage comes a variety of staffing problems for restaurants. In this article we’re going to list down 4 ways your restaurant can remedy and mitigate the ongoing staff shortage.

But before we get into how to weather a labour shortage, let’s look at some of the ways having a staff shortage can negatively affect your restaurant.

#1: Increased Staff Turnover

Not having enough labour in your restaurant can also result in high staff turnover due to your existing staff being overloaded with work. From making your staff go through more duties than they are being paid for, to longer working hours than they signed up for, all of this can result in your staff saying sayonara and leaving your restaurant with less of a workforce than you started out with. 

#2: Longer Waiting Times

Having less staff on hand can result in longer waiting times for customers to get the food they ordered, which in turn can have a seriously detrimental effect on customer satisfaction. Don’t forget that in the F&B industry time is one of the most important factors tied to customer satisfaction. And with customer satisfaction taking a nosedive, so will your sales.  

#3: Reduced Opening Hours

With not enough staff to help manage day-to-day operations, let alone peak hours like the lunch rush, your restaurant may be forced to reduce their active hours. This will have a direct impact on your profits, and not in a good way.

Our Recommended Staffing Solutions 

Now that we’ve established briefly how not having adequate staff can put your restaurant in a tricky situation, let’s look at some of the ways you can turn the tide and bring back revenue to your restaurant.

#1: Let Technology Help You Out

Having the right technology on hand can help automate quite a number of your restaurant processes such as handling takeaway orders from a multitude of sources. This way you’ll be able to relatively reduce the number of people needed to handle the process and instead allow them to focus their efforts in other areas like attending to customers solely and to their best ability. Not only that, it will also help your restaurant increase the overall efficiency within your establishment. 

#2: Streamline Your Menu

The more items offered on your menu, the more labour is needed to prep and cook them. Faced with a labour shortage it would be wise to reduce the number of items you’re willing to offer in your restaurant. Analyse your current menu and shortlist your most popular and profitable dishes and stick to perfecting those. It would also help to get rid of any menu items that require a lot of prep work or a long cooking process.

#3: Motivate your Staff

Let’s be honest, work can be a tiring and strenuous activity for anyone, let alone a server or chef on their feet the whole day rushing out orders or dealing with customers. Not to mention the aforementioned pandemic has left even the best of us feeling mentally drained out. All this coupled together can lead to demotivation within your staff and even subpar work quality. Here, having a warm and passionate approach to your staff when they are working can really go the distance. Instead of breeding resentment and having your staff count the minutes until they can clock out, it instead makes your staff feel eager to do a good job, especially if there’s the promise of some form of incentives for a good monthly performance. Consider having an anonymous form for your staff to give you feedback and actually use it to make your working conditions better for the people who work there. We guarantee you’ll see a difference. 

#4: Go Digital

Not all staffing issues need to be addressed by manually changing something within your restaurant. In fact, one of the easiest ways you can combat the labour shortage is by going digital. Having a table ordering system can greatly benefit a restaurant that doesn’t have enough staff to physically keep up with dine-in customers. Having smart tools as such can  also help you easily reassign tasks and train your existing staff to manage online orders more efficiently.

It’s important to acknowledge the fact that we are living through a labour crisis as we speak. However, while it may seem like a daunting task for any restaurateur, some simple restructuring and management is ultimately all you’ll need to keep you and your restaurant above water here.

Keen on taking the first step towards digitization for your restaurant? EasyEat is here to help! Get in touch with us by clicking here to book your FREE demo! We look forward to hearing from you!