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Five Ways Tech Can Help You to Solve the Restaurant Talent Crisis

02 March, 2022 |   | 

Let's take a moment to talk about the hospitality sector in the UK. It's facing quite a few challenges these days, and it's not just about finding the right ingredients for the kitchen. The whole industry is in a bit of a pickle, trying to navigate through a maze of issues.


One big piece of news that's causing a stir is the UK government's decision to raise the salary threshold for workers needing sponsorship. This is a pretty big deal, because, let's face it, a lot of places from your favourite local pub to that fancy hotel downtown, rely quite a bit on sponsored staff. And with this new rule kicking in from spring 2024, things are going to change. We're looking at a threshold leap from £26,200 to £38,700. That's no small change!


The Bigger Picture: The Talent Crisis

But wait, there's more to the story. This isn't just about salary thresholds and sponsorship. The hospitality sector is also wrestling with what's being called a restaurant talent crisis. It's not just about filling positions, it's about finding the right people with the right skills to keep the lights on and the customers happy.


And it's not just one or two places feeling the heat – it's a widespread issue. We're seeing signs everywhere, from empty spots in the kitchen to 'Help Wanted' signs popping up more frequently than usual.


The thing is, this isn't a new problem that just popped up overnight. It's been brewing for a while, and it's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle with lots of pieces to fit together – from changes in immigration policies to shifts in how people view working in this industry.


So, as we look deeper into the topic, we'll be exploring different aspects of this crisis, looking at the stats, and discussing what can be done. Stick around, it's going to be an interesting chat!


Tech's Role in Welcoming New Talent

female-manager-with-digital-tablet-and-waiter-work-2023-11-27-05-16-53-utcAlright, let's chat about how tech is stepping up in the hospitality sector, especially when it comes to bringing in new talent. With the ongoing recruitment crisis in the UK and the evolving landscape of restaurant talent, it's clear we need to get a bit savvy with our approach.


Integration with New Policies

First off, there's this big change coming with the Employment Allocation of Tips Act 2023. This act is set to change the game in how tips are distributed, making sure they go directly to the staff who earned them. It's all about fairness and transparency. So, where does tech fit into this? Well, it's at the heart of making this whole thing work smoothly.


Imagine a system where every tip given digitally is tracked and allocated correctly without any fuss. This is where the latest tech steps in – it can handle all this automatically, making sure everyone gets their fair share. For new staff, knowing that they'll be rewarded fairly for their hard work is a huge plus. It's not just about the money, it's about feeling valued and respected.


Engagement of Junior Staff

Then there's the whole vibe of welcoming and integrating new staff, especially the junior ones. In an industry where there's a bit of a scramble for talent, making newcomers feel at home is super important. This is where tech can be a real game-changer.


Think of systems that provide new staff with easy access to training materials, schedules, and even a platform where they can connect with their teammates. It's like having a digital buddy on their first day, showing them the ropes and making sure they don't feel lost. And it's not just about throwing information at them either. It's about creating an engaging, interactive learning experience.


From interactive training apps to user-friendly scheduling tools, tech makes it easier for newcomers to find their feet. It’s giving them the tools to quickly feel confident and capable, which is crucial in an industry that's fast-paced and always on the go.


So, there you have it – tech isn't just about making things faster or more efficient. It's now playing a key role in making the hospitality sector a welcoming place for new talent. It's helping to build a workplace where everyone, regardless of their role, feels part of the team and geared up for success.


Streamlining Operations with Technology

couple-of-young-wine-stewards-doing-stocktaking-of-2023-11-27-05-22-51-utcLet's look next into how technology is playing a crucial role in streamlining operations in the hospitality industry, especially amidst the restaurant talent crisis and general hospitality recruitment crisis.


Automating Tedious Tasks

One of the best things technology brings to the table is the automation of those tedious, time-consuming tasks. You know, the ones that everyone tries to avoid. We're talking about inventory counts, order processing, and even the dreaded paperwork that comes with every shift. With tech, these tasks become a breeze.


Think about it – a system that automatically updates your stock levels as orders come in and go out. Or a digital ordering system where waitstaff can send orders straight to the kitchen without the back-and-forth. It's like having an extra pair of hands, or better yet, an entire team working behind the scenes. This automation isn't just about saving time. It's just as much about reducing the stress that comes with long hours and the constant juggling of tasks, particularly at a time when living costs are on the rise.


Impact on Zero-Hour Contracts

Now, let's talk about zero-hour contracts. They've been a hot topic for a while in the hospitality sector. While they offer flexibility, they can also lead to unpredictability and instability for staff. Here's where tech can really make a difference.


With advanced staff scheduling systems, employees can get more visibility and control over their working hours. These systems can forecast busy periods and ensure that staff are scheduled efficiently, reducing the uncertainty that often comes with zero-hour contracts.


For managers, this tech means being able to plan better and manage staff levels in line with customer demand, without overstaffing or understaffing at critical times. For staff, it means more predictable working hours and, in turn, more predictable earnings.


So tech isn’t just revolutionising how tasks are done. It's also bringing stability and predictability to the workforce. In an industry facing a talent and recruitment crisis, these improvements go a long way in retaining staff and keeping operations running smoothly.


Enhancing Teamwork through Real-Time Tech

two-professional-cooks-preparing-meal-in-the-kitch-2023-11-27-04-54-52-utcIn this next bit, we're focusing on how technology is enhancing teamwork in the restaurant industry, especially how it helps when it comes to tackling the restaurant talent challenge.


Historical Context

First off, it's no secret that the hospitality sector has been dealing with labour shortages for quite a while now. This isn't just a recent hiccup, it's been a growing issue since around 2006. The whole thing escalated over the years, reaching a point where unfilled positions and high staff turnover became a pretty common headache for many restaurants and hotels.


Tech's Role in Collaboration

Now, here's where technology comes in as a bit of a hero. The latest tech isn't just about making individual tasks easier, it's about bringing teams together, and making sure the front and back of house are in sync. Think unified systems that streamline communication and coordination.


For instance, a chef in the kitchen can see real-time updates on orders coming in, while the front-of-house staff can keep track of how long each dish will take to prepare. It's like having a conversation without actually needing to shout across the room or run back and forth. This kind of coordination is crucial, especially when the place is buzzing, and everyone's trying to keep up with the pace.


Also, these systems can offer insights into what's selling well and what isn't, using bleeding-edge reporting and analytics features, and can even help with staff scheduling. It’s all about making sure everyone's on the same page, working as one cohesive unit. This kind of tech-driven collaboration can make a huge difference in how smoothly things run, and in an industry where attracting and keeping talent is a challenge, having a well-oiled machine is more important than ever.


Technology as a Tool for Effective Mentoring

cooking-course-senior-male-chef-in-cook-uniform-2023-11-27-05-08-05-utcNext up, we're tackling how technology can be a powerful ally in addressing the restaurant talent crisis through mentoring and career progression.


Time for Mentoring

One of the fantastic things about automation in the hospitality industry is how it frees up time. It’s quite obvious really. When repetitive tasks like inventory management, order processing, and even certain aspects of customer service are automated, it opens up a whole new world of time for staff development.


For senior staff like head chefs and managers, this is a big deal. No longer bogged down by the nitty-gritty of day-to-day operations, they can actually spend time mentoring their team. This isn’t just about showing a new chef how to perfect a dish either. It's about nurturing talent, sharing wisdom, and building confidence.


Mentoring, especially in high-pressure environments like restaurants, is invaluable. It helps with guiding junior staff, helping them navigate challenges, and offering insights that only come from experience. With tech handling the routine tasks, there’s more room for these valuable interactions, leading to a more skilled and engaged workforce.


Career Progression Aided by Tech

Now, let's talk career progression. In the midst of a talent crisis, offering clear pathways for growth is crucial. This is where tech plays another key role.


Modern tech solutions in the hospitality industry often come with training modules, performance tracking, and even career development tools. These systems can identify skill gaps and suggest training, track progress, and highlight areas for improvement. It's like having a personal career coach embedded in the system.


For staff, this can be incredibly motivating. Seeing a clear path for advancement and having the tools to get there can be the difference between feeling stuck in a job and growing in a career. For employers, it's a way to nurture and retain talent, building a stronger, more capable team.


To put it as simply as possible, technology in the restaurant industry isn't just about efficiency. It’s fast becoming a catalyst for mentorship and career growth, two elements that are vital in tackling the ongoing talent crisis.


Tech in Monitoring Performance and Setting Rewards

attractive-young-female-chef-giving-fresh-greek-sa-2023-11-27-05-11-34-utcOne of the coolest things about modern tech in the hospitality sector is how it helps in keeping an eye on performance. Gone are the days of guesswork or waiting for annual reviews to find out how you're doing. Now, we have systems that provide real-time feedback on performance.


This tech tracks everything from the speed and efficiency of service to customer feedback scores. For staff, this is brilliant because it means they get immediate insights into where they’re shining and where they could do with a bit of polish. It’s about continuous improvement, which is key in an industry that's always on its toes.


And then there's the part about rewards. Everyone likes a pat on the back, right? With this tech, recognising achievements isn’t just a once-in-a-while thing, it’s an ongoing process. Systems can be set up to acknowledge milestones, celebrate successes, and even offer incentives for meeting certain targets. It's a way of saying, "Hey, we see you, and you're doing great!" which is a huge morale booster.


Internal Job Opportunities

Now, let's chat about internal career opportunities. In a sector where finding and keeping talent is tough, showing staff that there's room to grow is crucial. Tech comes into play here too, by shining a spotlight on potential career paths within the organisation.


Imagine a system that not only tracks your current skills and performance but also suggests roles you might be a good fit for in the future. It could highlight training programmes you might want to consider or skills you need to develop to step up the career ladder. It's like having a career roadmap, with tech as your guide.


This approach not only helps staff see a future within the company but also helps employers spot potential and plan for succession. It’s a way of building a strong, capable team that grows together, making the most of the talent that’s already in-house.


It should be fairly obvious by now that technology in the hospitality industry is becoming a pivotal tool for nurturing talent, encouraging personal development, and showcasing the possibilities for career advancement – all essential in tackling the ongoing recruitment crisis.


Why is Talent Retention Important?

the-waiter-carries-dishes-2023-11-27-05-20-43-utcSo, why all this fuss about keeping hold of your staff? Well, it's simple really – it's much more cost-effective to keep your existing team happy and on board than to constantly look for new faces. Every time someone leaves, think about the time and money spent on finding someone new, training them up, and getting them settled. It adds up, right?


But it's not just about the costs. When you've got a team that knows the ropes, understands your customers, and gets on well together, you've got a recipe for a smooth-running operation. They're the ones who provide that consistent service that keeps customers coming back. Plus, experienced staff can mentor newbies, passing on valuable skills and knowledge. It's a win-win.


Relation to the Current Recruitment Crisis

Now, let's link this to the bigger picture – the UK recruitment crisis. It's no secret that finding the right talent in the hospitality sector is like trying to find a needle in a haystack these days. And with the government raising the bar on salary thresholds for sponsored workers, it's only going to get trickier.


By focusing on keeping the talent you already have, you're essentially putting a plug in the drain. It's a way of mitigating the effects of this recruitment crisis. When you're not losing staff left, right, and centre, you're not scrambling to fill positions. This means you can be more selective, taking the time to find the right fit for your team, rather than just trying to fill a gap.


So holding onto your skilled staff is key to keeping your operations smooth and customer satisfaction high, especially in these times when new talent is harder to come by. It's about creating a stable, skilled workforce that can weather the storm of the current talent crisis.


Tackle the Talent Crisis with Smart Tech Solutions

Alright, let's wrap this up. We've gone over quite a few things! From the challenges of the widespread restaurant talent crisis and the UK hospitality recruitment crisis to the exciting ways technology is making a difference, it's clear that the hospitality industry is facing some tough times, but it's also clear that there are solutions out there.


Technology, especially the kind offered by Syrve, isn’t just a tool, it's a game-changer. It's about more than just streamlining operations and making things quicker. It's more about building a better work environment, nurturing talent, and creating opportunities for growth and development. Whether it's through automating tedious tasks, enhancing teamwork, mentoring, tracking performance, or highlighting career paths, tech is playing a vital role in shaping the future of the hospitality industry.


Are you feeling the heat of the talent crisis in the hospitality industry? Now imagine a world where your operations are smooth, your team is thriving, and the future looks bright. That's what the right technology can do for you.


With Syrve, you're not just getting a tech solution, you're getting a partner in navigating these challenging times. It's you taking control, boosting morale, and paving the way for success.


Don't let the talent crisis hold you back. Book a call with Syrve today and discover how we can help you turn things around. It's time to take the first step towards a better, more efficient, and happier workplace.

Karl Hughes

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