The pandemic demonstrated how sensitive the food and beverage industry is to external factors. Self-service kiosks can tackle the issue of insufficient manpower while also strengthening eateries against future threats.
The food and beverage industry are hiring like crazy. Restaurant owners are in desperate need of workers now that pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted and dine-in is permitted again. According to Department of Labor data, restaurants have added a record number of job vacancies in recent months.
However, filling these vacancies has proven very difficult, resulting in a significant labor crisis in the restaurant industry. According to a new Bureau of Labor Statistics report, despite steady hiring since early spring, the food and beverage industry is still 1.5 million jobs (12%) short. According to a recent National Restaurant Association survey, 84% of operators asked claimed their personnel levels were lower than necessary, with 47% reporting that their worker numbers were more than 20% lower than pre-pandemic levels and Best Kiosk Software.
Restaurants have had to up the ante on their recruitment drives in order to address this significant gap. Some have offered a one-time bonus to prospective recruits, while others have offered free appetizers or drinks to those who sign up for interviews. Most restaurateurs have raised wages for their employees in the hopes of retaining both current and new employees. Some even offer additional incentives and perks on top of the increased income.
Needless to say, the higher wages and other benefits provided to employees have increased restaurant operators’ costs, reducing profit margins. Some businesses are attempting to pass on these expenses to clients by raising their pricing, causing dissatisfaction among long-term customers. Given the financial toll that the epidemic has already taken, many businesses, particularly small-scale eateries, simply cannot afford these additional costs and face the very real possibility of going out of business shortly.
Self-ordering kiosks to the rescue
Automation is one of the most effective solutions to the labor shortage problem. Self-service kiosks eliminate the need for humans to take orders and process payments. With a minor change in functionality, they may be adapted to any type of restaurant. Diners can place their orders at the kiosk solution, pay, and then take their trays or parcels from the designated counter or window in self-service setups. If customers are dining in, they may simply specify a table number with their order so that the meal is delivered to where they are seated.
Added benefits to boost business
Self-ordering kiosks can be far more beneficial than having a person physically receive orders. These machines do not get weary or ill, and they operate at peak efficiency even during peak periods. They also reduce human mistake, allowing for more accurate ordering and reduced food waste. The technology involved has evolved greatly over the decades, allowing for an excellent user experience.
Digitizing the order process accelerates restaurant operations. The chef gets the order at the kiosk without the need for a human intermediary. This reduces wait times and allows diners to obtain their food faster. With clients being served faster, restaurants can accept more orders, increasing daily income.
Self-ordering kiosks have also been shown to create orders that are up to 30% more valuable than purchases completed in person. Customers enjoy the privacy and independence provided by these devices and tend to purchase more things as a result. Upselling and cross-selling are also more successful on self-service kiosks, which is why order tickets are more valuable.
The data generated by self-ordering kiosks provides restaurateurs with valuable insights into their business. With this information, planning becomes more logical, and projections become more precise. The numbers can also be used to advise menu changes and promotions. Decisions are sounder in general since they are based on accurate measurements.
When self-ordering kiosks are deployed, employees become more efficient. In general, a kiosk can serve as 1.5 cashiers. Staff can focus on other critical responsibilities such as marketing, customer service, and inventory once they are free of the chores of collecting orders and processing payments. There is no need for more workers at peak periods because kiosk software can accept orders rapidly.
Selecting the right kiosk
Self-ordering kiosks exist in a variety of styles and brands. Choosing the best type might be difficult, especially for restaurant owners who are new to automation. While closed systems appear to be more convenient at first glance due to their direct interaction with the POS, they are exceedingly inflexible. In order for this to work, operators must either already be using the necessary POS or overhaul their entire system. All-in-one solutions are also less effective. In such systems, the kiosk is frequently an afterthought, leading in poor performance.
Stand-alone kiosks are created from the ground up with functionality and usability in mind. They are self-contained entities that can be readily integrated into the existing ecosystem of a restaurant. They are adaptable to unique restaurant requirements, making them a viable solution across all restaurant categories. Agnostic models provide restaurants with flexibility by allowing the POS and kiosks to be decoupled at any stage.
It has already been established that the data supplied by a kiosk is critical for decision-making and planning. However, numbers in their raw form are meaningless. These statistics must be compiled and structured in order to make sense. A good kiosk vendor should provide data analytics.
A long-term solution
Restaurants will take some time to recover from the current labor deficit. According to the National Restaurant Association, 28% of restaurant operators who are now understaffed expect employment levels will return to normal in seven to twelve months, while another 20% say it will take more than a year. Around 10% of operators have given up hope, claiming that worker levels would never return to pre-pandemic levels.
The future is dismal, and eateries cannot afford to wait up to a year for enough staffing. They must begin automating if they are to make things work with a fewer team. Self-service kiosks provide a quick and convenient solution.
The future is dismal, and eateries cannot afford to wait up to a year for enough staffing. They must begin automating if they are to make things work with a fewer team. At Linkitsoft, Self-service kiosks provide an instant and practical solution to this critical issue.