Business

16. November

Will restaurateurs leverage technology to manage labor shortage?

Blogpost by Frank Otterbeck, Group Marketing Director Quickorder

Starting out as a waiter and a delivery guy in Peppes Pizza, my interest in the food and hospitality industry led me to Domino’s Pizza Norway Sales & Marketing Department.

After a while, I thought it was the right time for a change. Yet here I am, back in the restaurant industry, running the Marketing Department in Quickorder. I don't know what it’s about the hospitality sector, but it seems to be where my passion lies.

Post Covid

After the first six months in Quickorder, I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the changes in the industry - especially in the Nordics. From social distancing regulations between in-house guests and required mobile ordering, to reopening to full capacity and facing labour shortage.

The past few months, I have been super happy to see guests enjoying personal service again and staff members having that extra sparkle in their eyes. But to be honest, right now the situation seems a bit different

When I go out for dinner or order take-away, it’s a habit of mine to observe other guests and staff. I must admit, I love people-watching in general. After the reopening of the country, I have noticed an overnight change in behaviour when it comes to mobile ordering.

Restaurants opened to full capacity and almost all table talkers with online ordering were gone. At the same time, the media has been going on and on about the lack of staff in the restaurant industry.

Natural disaster for restaurateurs

The other night, I was explaining to my daughter that heavy snowfall over a weak layer in the snow cover in mountains causes an avalanche. And that got me thinking... When overnight, a big number of people are allowed to dine out again in severely understaffed restaurants, what does that cause? A “natural disaster” for restaurateurs.

Even though staff were happy to greet people without a mask, they were put under immense pressure to serve double the amount of tables they could possibly handle.

Some of my closest friends, who are running restaurants in Bergen and Oslo, have been forced to cut their opening hours or whole days of the week due to labour shortage.

As this avalanche of people is somewhat slowing down, there’s a second avalanche that has already started. An avalanche that might be even more crazy.

Is it “the most wonderful time of the year” for restaurateurs?

Christmas time is all about celebrating the year that has passed by with colleagues, friends and family. Also it’s about treating yourself with a nice meal after spending hours trying to find the perfect gifts in overcrowded shops. And this is where new opportunities and challenges for restaurateurs arise..

Is your restaurant fully booked ensuring high revenue? Check!

Do you have enough staff to serve all your in-house and takeaway guests this Christmas season? Probably not.

Correct me if I am wrong, but as you are reading this, you or your manager are probably seeking new employees for service and your co-workers are tired! The amount of table bookings is already mind blowing and the number of takeaway orders grows every day.

That’s when I started to think; What can we do to help?

So here it goes… If I was running a restaurant today, I would win the war with soldiers (staff) by securing the following 5 things:

  1. Together with the waiters, I would re-introduce a hybrid ordering and payment solution for my guests. With online ordering available, the waiters will have more time for service instead of running around with ordering notes, bills and payment terminals all the time.
  2. Secure an easy-to-use POS system with an OS that is continuously updated and upgraded by a stable software provider.
  3. Make sure my online ordering system for takeaway is up-to-date. I would create a simple takeaway menu with focus on up-sale options.
  4. Have a simple table booking system for my guests.
  5. Make sure my staff got the best overview and management tool to switch shifts etc.

So if you need help before Christmas, we in Quickorder can help! I want to finish off with a quote from one of our online ordering customers today: “Using Quickorder is like having an extra waiter” - Manager @ Holy Cow in Denmark

And remember; Be nice to people and never settle for anything less than extraordinary!

Good luck in the Christmas battle.

All the best,

Frank

Quickorder © 2014 – 2021 CVR: 36422459