Sunday, July 21, 2024

Tackling Staff Shortages: Navigating the Challenges

Following the aftermath of Covid, the challenges posed by Brexit, the impact of inflation, and the surge in interest rates, it might be presumed that locating adequate staff would be effortless. Alas, the hospitality sector finds itself in dire straits, grappling with crippling shortages in its workforce.

According to the BBC, many businesses are asking the government to intervene and allow European workers to work over the summer to help mitigate the risk of staff shortages.

“The UK’s hospitality sector is still short-staffed, and businesses fear they will struggle to cope over the busy summer holiday season.

It comes as former government minister George Eustice called for EU workers to be allowed into the UK to ease post-Brexit shortages.

Trade body UK Hospitality also said staffing was in “serious crisis” – with vacancies 48% higher than pre-Covid.”

With interest rates projected to rise significantly, reaching 6.75% by the end of May 2024, businesses must proactively seek opportunities to streamline operations and boost efficiency through technology. It is pivotal to explore avenues that optimise processes and enhance overall productivity.

But what options are available when faced with a scarcity of staff members despite the persistently high demand for your business? Let’s look at one successful example: Mother Hubbards, a renowned Fish & Chips chain, has navigated this challenge by embracing technology provided by Kayana to streamline and optimise its operational processes significantly. By harnessing the power of technology, existing staff members have operated with enhanced efficiency without compromising the delivery of excellent customer service. This intelligent approach has effectively alleviated the mounting pressure on the team while consistently maintaining the highest level of customer satisfaction.

Regarding technology, let’s start by discussing the essential aspects of ordering and payments. A highly effective approach to streamline these processes is by leveraging self-service solutions, including user-friendly self-service kiosks and convenient QR code ordering systems. By implementing these cutting-edge technologies, your customers will experience a seamless and efficient ordering experience. With the ability to place orders swiftly and effortlessly, they will no longer have to tackle the frustration of lengthy queues. Furthermore, these innovative solutions will alleviate your staff from the burdensome task of manual order-taking duties, allowing them to focus on delivering exceptional service and enhancing the overall customer experience. Embracing these advanced advancements will undoubtedly give your business a competitive edge in today’s digital landscape.

Now you’ve handled orders and payments using self-service, let’s turn our attention to optimising in-person service workflows. While many rely on traditional tills, and some use outdated electronic point-of-sale solutions, it’s time to embrace the upgrades. The latest technology offers a range of electronic point-of-sale options, including digital displays with dual screens for hybrid self-service and mobile point-of-sale systems that empower staff to take orders on the go, no matter where they are.

What happens when a flood of orders overwhelms the kitchen staff? One solution is to leverage technology. Rather than relying on a ticket-based system with organisers calling out orders, specific areas can be assigned to cook particular items. This efficient allocation of tasks saves precious time, allowing staff to focus on fulfilling more orders.

Another crucial aspect is data analysis. Often overlooked, it is essential to understand customer preferences and buying patterns. By combining this information with cooking times, companies using technology can optimise their menu. This strategic approach ensures a sales-oriented setup, enabling staff to concentrate on the dishes that generate revenue.

Your establishment can enhance speed, efficiency, and profitability by embracing technology and leveraging data.

Claire James
Claire James
Claire is an accounts manager at Fire Digital UK, an online publishing and content marketing company based in the North West.

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