Keeping Back of House Operations Front of Mind
A restaurant can’t function properly without the behind-the-scenes hustle and bustle, but staffing shortages are hitting back of house (BOH) operations hard. According to the 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry conducted by National Restaurant Association, roughly half of all operators say employee recruitment and retention is their biggest challenge, and of the 40 percent of restaurant operators who are not operating at full capacity, 7 out of 10 cite employee shortages as the primary reason. Some restaurants are even considering robotic waitstaff to help fill the gap!
So how can restaurants coping with staffing challenges in 2023? One key way is by integrating customized technology into your restaurant’s processes can lower stress levels throughout the restaurant, lightening the load for frazzled managers, and keeping kitchens calm and quiet.
Retaining staff to limit managerial crossover
It’s no secret that restaurants are a labor of love. Eight out of ten owners or operators began their careers in an entry-level position, but that doesn’t mean they’ll want to return to those positions if staff cannot be found, or there are no-shows. Operators feel this strain the most during staff shortages, and it isn’t uncommon for operators to put in 80+ hour work weeks. This is unsustainable, and leads to burnout quickly.
To increase staff retention, operators must work with staff to manage stress levels. When stress levels are high, employees are more likely to throw in the towel, sometimes abruptly. Causing big issues in front-of-house and back-of-house operations. Our ConnectSmart platform communicates among all parts of the organization and can keep everyone on the same page regarding workflow, minimizing miscommunication and tense conversations between FOH and BOH workers. Over time, this technology also leverages data to predict times of peak activity, which allows managers to better manage schedules. And because these dashboards can be accessed remotely, managers can check in anytime, anywhere.
Automate and streamlined office operations
A well-run kitchen is also a well-stocked kitchen. Save time and energy on the tedious task of inventory–and get more precise results–with The ConnectSmart platform. This tool can be customized to calculate your inventory numbers and order what your restaurant needs before you run out. Using data and performance metrics, your back office is made more efficient and geared for success all while taking some of the weight off of managers’ backs. These same systems can assist managers with scheduling, taking into account staff’s preferred hours and time off requests.
Start with a smoother onboarding process
The restaurant industry is notorious for high turnover rates, and the process of training can be a drain on resources, including veteran employees’ time. While there are some things to do to manage this turnover, foolproof processes are essential to seamless transition when new faces appear in the restaurant.
Just like ConnectSmart Host allows newbies in the front-of-house to get a quick view of dining room capacities and seating wait times at a glance, ConnectSmart Kitchen offers line cooks a similar leg-up by loading in recipes for each dish so newcomers can execute consistently and without oversight. Similarly, packing stations for to-go orders boast at-a-glance checklists so off-premise orders are packaged with precision every time.
And because FOH and BOH systems are in constant communication, ConnectSmart technology can help your kitchen make informed decisions on the fly to keep orders out quickly while still being perfectly crafted. Our technology can organize and separate dining room orders and off-premise orders, eliminating confusion and keeping diners happy.
The key to make a difference in your BOH operations without totally rocking the boat is to integrate seamlessly with existing processes and technologies. ConnectSmart can be layered into the existing tech stack of any given restaurant, without the need to purchase a new operating system or totally rewire your restaurant.
Meet us at FSTEC in booth 230 to chat about optimizing your back of house operations! Until then, subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date on all things restaurant tech!
About the Author
Shari McCauley joined QSR Automations in 2015 and is the Manager of Training where she focuses on educating employees, the reseller channel and customers on the benefits and uses of QSR technology. She has a passion for the Restaurant Industry and helping operators run their businesses more efficiently through training and technology. With over 30 years of Restaurant experience from drive thru to restaurant manager, field trainer then technology support / training and leadership roles she has a broad understanding of what it takes to make operations consistent, efficient, and profitable.