Vice President of Business Enablement
Restaurant company culture has come to the forefront of the labor shortage conversation as restaurant owners and managers wrestle with the fallout from a diminishing work force coupled with increasing labor costs. A report from the National Restaurant Association shows that approximately 3 in 10 restaurateurs have job openings they’re having a hard time filling. Restaurants large and small from Florida to Colorado to California are feeling the very real pain of attracting and retaining employees.
It’s forcing many to take a look at working conditions and current company culture that exists in their organizations, sending them down a path to a more employee-centric model. Adapting the latest restaurant technologies is a large part of the puzzle for making this transition.
Know Your Audience
Think about the current employees across your organization from the front of the house to the back of the house and their demographics. The first wave of laborers from Generation Z is aging into the workforce. This generation was born with a smartphone in hand and are super connected, super active on social media and super tech savvy.
Today’s restaurant technologies from point of sale to kitchen display systems are developed to function in a way that mimics the intuitive use found on personal mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, making training a breeze and allowing employees to take orders and prepare them faster than ever.
Set Your Restaurant Company Culture at the Top
Denny’s CEO John Miller discussed this topic recently and addressed the need for restaurants to focus on company culture. “You learn that people matter a whole lot more than whether you throw a dish away because you made it wrong,” said Miller. “Have a culture of care that looks after people.”
If leaders at the top of your organization are employee-centric in their decision making and messaging, it trickles down to the hourly employee level. When you are dealing with a nationwide or city-wide franchise with multi units, it becomes harder to make sure that the exact message you want to convey to your employees is being consistently presented across managers and different owner operators. Leveraging technology like employee scheduling apps or messaging apps to further your restaurant company culture helps disseminate a message that you control so that you have the same culture in your Iowa restaurants that you have in your Florida locations.
Make it Easy to Work for You
Creating a fun place to work takes a conscious effort in the way you treat, train and retain employees. Making their job easier with strategic technologies is a win for you on the productivity side and a win for the employee who can function easier. For example, giving servers a mobile POS to easily checkout customers at the table or even adding self-order kiosks so customers can enter and customize their orders makes the high volume, intense nature of restaurant work, a little more manageable.
For the back of the house, adding kitchen display systems and getting rid of paper receipts entirely, not only streamlines your processes but makes the cooks’ lives infinitely easier by organizing orders visually and giving visual alerts when orders are going long. Your managers will certainly appreciate the added organization and servers will be pleased with faster table turns.
Benefits, Perks and Recognition Go a Long Way
Offering competitive packages with healthcare and other benefits are something to consider, but often just creating an atmosphere of recognition and reward, that is sincere and happens often, can have far reaching effects on morale. Using social media to highlight your staff’s achievements is one way you can start showing appreciation to employees immediately, without too much effort.
In the end, the time and investment of turning your restaurant company culture to one that is more attractive to potential employees might be one you have to make to stay competitive. The restaurant workforce is in the driver’s seat right now and catering to the way they like to communicate and creating an environment that’s great to work in is going to give you a better chance of attracting top talent.
If you are interested in learning more about restaurant technologies that can make your organization have a more employee-centric restaurant company culture please contact us to discuss your options.