Running a single restaurant is a tough job, running a chain of restaurants and ensuring they’re successful is an even tougher nut to crack.
A combination of factors, including more demanding customers, rising labour costs with the National Living Wage and a changing demographic of employees, are forcing restaurant bosses to find new ways to optimise the way they operate and ensure they are profitable.
We work with some of the biggest restaurant chains in Europe and we asked them what, historically, the biggest challenges are in the restaurant industry when it comes to workforce management. We even sent our CEO to one to find out for himself!
This is what they said:
Most restaurants know that to be profitable and successful they need to deliver a memorable customer experience. In fact, research carried out by a Harvard Business School researcher found that a 1-star increase in a restaurant's Yelp rating can see a 9% increase in revenue. So the experience a customer receives is key. In order to deliver this experience, restaurants need to have the right people, in the right place, at the right time. And the only way they can do this is through great scheduling. That’s why the industry has been swift to embrace workforce management solutions like Quinyx because, not only do they make sure the right staff are in place, they save managers and supervisors, on average, 9 hours a week by automating labour intensive processes like scheduling.
These 9 hours can then be focused on delivering for the customer and ensuring the front of house experience is spectacular. Restaurants want their managers on the floor, not stuck in front of a computer screen.
By saving time, reducing manual work and integrating core systems like scheduling and budgeting, restaurants are able to give more to the customer.
Traditionally, communication between restaurant staff and managers has been notoriously difficult. Many restaurants we know have tried everything from private Facebook groups to WhatsApp messaging but to little or limited success.
Great communication allows a restaurant to be flexible enough to respond to the needs of its customers and employees. Mobile-first workforce management solutions like Quinyx allows all communication to take place within the app environment. Whether this is requesting to swap shifts, making leave requests or simply sending a message to all staff, by integrating it within an app the restaurant staff use all the time, there is a dramatic improvement in internal communication.
Keeping hold of staff has long been a big challenge for the restaurant industry. For many employees, working in a restaurant is a stepping stone in their career while for others it’s a part-time while they study. But, as we heard at our Workforce Management Day, the latest figures suggest it can cost upwards of £20k to replace an employee, which is why restaurants are constantly looking at ways they can retain their staff.Employee engagement has been proven as one of the best ways of doing this. The more engaged an employee is, the less likely they are to leave. By creating a strong culture (take Pret a Manger as an example) and listening to their employees’ needs, restaurants are able to grow engagement levels. And employees report to being empowered when they use the Quinyx app because it gives them control over their time.
Nearly all restaurants are attempting to do more for their customers and their staff, with less resources. And when resources are limited, it’s vital they’re managed properly. Pizza chain Papa John’s use Quinyx as their workforce management solution and it’s like their operations support and training manager, Matthew Down, says: “The benefits are quite simple. It saves the managers time, gives you better results, improves communication and, the key one for us, it improves the level of service.”
If you’d like to find out more about how Quinyx can help you, we’d love to hear from you.