Dec 07, 2016
When a quick service restaurant is understaffed, it can lead to a terrible scenario: lines pile up, service quality deteriorates, and revenue and loyalty go down the drain as customers leave the door frustrated – some even vowing never to come back.
Such understaffing nightmares are becoming worrisome for QSRs, as 44% report that understaffing occurs “somewhat frequently” or more often in their stores, based on a recent Oracle Hospitality survey.
While understaffing is most pervasive in fast-casual restaurants – with 54% reporting it as a somewhat frequent or more frequent issue – QSRs also face ample challenges despite efforts to improve scheduling.
“Ever watchful of labor costs, it is no surprise that restaurants err on the side of understaffing when it comes to scheduling practices,” says Christopher Adams, vice president, food and beverage, APAC at Oracle Hospitality. “But such findings remind us that the guest experience can be jeopardized by overstretched resources.”
The same survey reveals that QSRs can spend up to 30% or more of revenues on staffing alone, and many operators that feel the pinch respond by raising menu prices.
One way QSRs can alleviate their understaffing troubles is to use advanced forecasting tools. Some forecasting systems have evolved to not only project sales, but also pull data from POS systems and automatically build staff schedules that factor in labor costs and productivity needs, says Adams.
Staff schedule changes are a major contributor to understaffing, but better processes and cloud technology can help managers and staff adapt to fluctuating schedules.
“Staff schedule changes are a fact of life,” says Adams. “Technology can help manage one of the headaches of the business: schedule changes. It can enable employees to electronically make their own changes, and keep operators abreast of staffing needs.”
A key strategy is to equip staff with better tools to do their jobs, such as mobile devices, which will foster a better sense of ‘ownership’ in their work. In turn, this makes the lives of managers easier.
The survey shows that half of the independent restaurants will encourage staff to use their own mobile devices to manage schedules, and 51% of those plan to introduce it in the next six months.
About Oracle Food and Beverage
Oracle Food and Beverage, formerly MICROS, brings 40 years of experience in providing software and hardware solutions to restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, coffee shops, cafes, stadiums and theme parks. Oracle Food and Beverage is dedicated to helping its customers accelerate innovation and compete more effectively in a business landscape that has been fundamentally reshaped by disruptive technologies such as social, mobile, cloud and big data. Thousands of operators, both large and small, around the world are using Oracle technology to deliver exceptional guest experiences, maximize sales and reduce operating costs.