The restaurant labor shortage in Hawaii shows no sign of ending. With over 10,000 restaurant clients, Popmenu shares staffing and technology tips that are easing the burden of staffing.
Feeling the Pain of Staffing Shortages in Hawaii? Technology can be a lifesaver.
We all know the restaurant industry is facing an unprecedented labor shortage. This is especially true in hospitality-dominated areas like Hawaii, where tourism is the state’s largest economic sector. The Hawaii Dept. of Labor reports that there were over 60,000 folks working in food service alone in February of 2022! Competition is fierce and it can get ugly out there.
Higher demand and fewer staff members create an unbelievably stressful and exasperating Catch-22. Restaurant owners and managers often must step in and help with everything from cooking, prepping, serving – you name it. Which leaves less time to recruit and hire, and means more time spent on cooking, prepping, serving… you get the idea.
Here at Popmenu, the industry leader in restaurant technology and innovation, we’ve seen firsthand the trauma restaurant owners have endured over the past two years. With over 10,000 restaurant clients – many of whom reside in Hawaii – we’d like to offer some tips to ease your pain and leverage technology to stay strong and successful.
Tips for Retaining & Attracting Staff
While restaurant owners continue to battle the impact of the Pandemic, efforts made to attract and retain workers remain a central issue. At Popmenu, we’re seeing that the restaurateurs who thrive during this labor shortage will be the ones who make smart changes to hiring models. Here are some tactics to consider:
- Make Your Restaurant an Enticing Place to Work
The federal tipped minimum wage has been $2.13 since 1991—29 years without an increase. One of the best ways for restaurants to survive this labor shortage and any other future turmoil in the industry is to offer workers something better than the minimum. Consider this: The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell estimates that turnover for a single, front-line restaurant employee costs nearly $6,000. If you could avoid that cost by retaining your employees, that money could be reinvested in giving them reasons to stay.
- Focus on Retaining Your Trusted Staff and Give Them a Reason to Stay
As you’re hiring to return to full capacity, don’t say yes to anyone who applies for a job at your restaurant. Instead, hire with retention in mind. Build a team that works well together, and then treat them well, so they don’t have a reason to leave.
- Create a Staff Referral Program and Leverage your Team’s Network
Hospitality industry folks are a tight-knit bunch. If you already have some great employees, odds are they know other restaurant workers who are also great at what they do. Enlist their help in the hiring process by implementing an employee referral program. Offer a bonus to any staff member who refers someone you end up hiring.
How Technology Can Help Ease the Burden
We hear it every day from restaurateurs across the country: it’s really, really tough out there. But where are we seeing opportunities to use technology to your advantage? Here is how to make the most of tech tools to streamline your workflow and take some of the pressure off your current staff members.
Restaurant Technology Tools for Automation
Increasingly, restaurants are embracing automation tools to handle the more tedious parts of their workflow. Reservations and waitlisting can now be automated with the use of the right app or platform, for example. Another great place to implement automation is in your marketing efforts; you’ll be able to automate the process of sending out email newsletters, creating holiday specials, and following up with guests after they place an order at your restaurant.
Restaurant Technology Tools for Efficiency
With fewer staff on the floor, restaurants need to find ways to reduce the time guests spend waiting. That’s where technology for contactless ordering and payment is really gaining traction. Instead of needing to wait for a server to take their order, guests can simply order whenever they’re ready, either from an ordering kiosk, a tablet at their table, or their own device. The same goes for the check—rather than waiting for it to be dropped off, they can split the bill, leave a tip, and pay all from their table.
Restaurant Technology Tools for Productivity
With reduced opening hours, restaurants need a way to boost their productivity that doesn’t overburden their service staff. That’s where direct online ordering comes in. Restaurants that take online orders for both pickup and delivery directly on their websites see… from their websites see huge boosts in sales and profit—for takeout and delivery orders.
How Can Popmenu Help?
Let’s be honest: Technology costs money, and can quickly add up, especially when you have multiple systems that don’t communicate with one another. It can cause big inefficiencies in time, training, and overlapping effort. Was it an easy experience the last time you changed your menu? Is managing your online reviews driving you insane?
That’s why Hawaii’s restaurateurs, strapped for resources in a fiercely competitive market – can benefit tremendously from Popmenu’s solutions.
Popmenu does everything restaurants need in a rapidly changing digital landscape? digital world, with just one login (it’s true!):
- Website design and maintenance
- Digital waitlisting and AI phone answering
- Interactive online menus
- Direct online ordering
- Automated marketing tools
Having it all in one platform saves time and resources. And the best part is that Popmenu costs restaurants just a single monthly fee that never goes up, guaranteed. Reach out to your local rep Christen Montero at 951-283-3684 or Christen.Montero@popmenu.com for a no-pressure chat about how we might be able to help you in ’22.