5 Ways to Solve the Restaurant Industry’s Top 3 Challenges
Several tools can help us address labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and rising operating costs.
Although we can’t see what the future holds, the worst of the pandemic seems to be over and the outlook for restaurants is looking brighter than ever. Of course, we face a number of challenges, but we’re excited to see the innovation to come as restaurants shift from survival mode to evolving to meet consumer preferences and thoughtfully address the challenges ahead. to come.
The issues seem clear:
- Labor issues drive up base costs. Almost A quarter of the 4.5 million Americans who quit their jobs last year were in the hospitality industry. Now restaurants must work to attract, train and retain a new pool of talent, while remaining competitive in terms of salaries and benefits.
- Inflation drives up costs for restaurants and their customers. While slow and steady inflation has always led to cost increases over time, today’s rapid rate of inflation is causing many restaurants to adjust their prices to cover costs. This could cause some people to eat out less often or order less when they do.
- Supply chain disruptions are making some ingredients hard to find and leading restaurants to remove certain items from the menu, whether for a few days or hours, or for a few months until the supply chain settles down. normalize again.
So what are the trends we should expect in the coming months as restaurants continue their resurgence?
- Ghost kitchens aren’t going anywhere. Ghost kitchens have helped restaurant brands better meet pickup and delivery demand, becoming a $43 million industry. Although it is only a drop in the ocean, it is expected to reach more than 70 billion dollars in just five years. We will see a skyrocketing popularity of ghost kitchens, even among full-service brands that would never have considered making on-site catering a part of their business.
- The integrated technology will help operators understand their business and gain a competitive advantage. The last five to ten years have given us the boom in restaurant technology with operators adding new point-of-sale providers, inventory, customer experience, schedules, online ordering and more. However, it has become apparent that with new technologies, additional complications have been added when they do not work properly together. Inventory couldn’t paint the full picture without pulling point-of-sale data, or reports would be skewed when each system counted metrics in a unique way. Restaurant owners have now started to focus on finding technologies that work together effectively to achieve more visibility and efficiency.
- Redesign physical space to better respond to changing customer preferences. As premises expand, it’s not just ghost kitchens that will fill this need. Some operators choose to maximize their rear space and create separate “pick up” areas for delivery services and takeout orders. Additionally, drive-thru is more popular than ever, and businesses are expanding or adding drive-thrus to meet customer demand.
- AI and automation are finding ways to add profitability points. Certainly, robots, both in the kitchen and for delivery, are making great strides and are already seeing wider adoption in certain concepts and cities. But automating technology also drives growth by streamlining operations. When you have technology that can fully or partially automate previously manual processes, you can put that profit back in your pocket. Things like calendaring, reporting, CX surveys, purchasing, inventory tracking, and more. are all part of the automation revolution we will see in 2022.
- Salaries and benefits are increasing to meet demand. In a more competitive labor market, operators are fighting rising costs in multiple ways. Not only are they using these automated tools to make the most of the workforce they have, but they are also increasing salaries and benefits to attract and retain talent in a tough market. By combining the tactics, restaurateurs can offset rising labor costs through more efficient management of labor and schedules.
No period in the restaurant industry will ever be perfectly smooth, but it looks like the skies are bluer for restaurateurs. Despite labor, supply chain and inflation challenges, we now have the tools to solve these problems. These trends are indicative of how the industry has evolved so far, as well as responses to our current challenges.
Greg Staley is the CEO of SynergySuite, a back-end restaurant management platform. Greg focuses on facilitating better visibility and increased profitability for restaurant chains through the use of smart, integrated technology behind the scenes.
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