Attracting and retaining employees remains one of the most significant obstacles to growth and profitability for the restaurant industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in food and drinking places as of July 2022 was still down by 1.2 million, or 7.1%, from pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. Additionally, many operators report that they are continuing to face staffing shortfalls and high rates of turnover.
According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2022 State of the Industry report, about half of all restaurant operators surveyed said recruiting and retaining employees was their top challenge for 2022, ahead of rising food costs.
Most operators said they expect labor challenges to persist through 2022, with quick-service and casual-dining operators especially concerned about staffing issues. The report found that 75% of operators said they planned to devote more resources to recruiting and training employees.
“Even then, most aren’t expecting a rapid return to normal,” the report concluded.
About two-thirds of operators said they expect that the use of technology and automation to help overcome the labor pressures will become more common in their segment in 2022.
Given the competition for workers in the current environment, it’s clear that restaurant operators need to look beyond wages and benefits to attract and retain employees.
One way operators can meet the challenges posed by the tight labor market is with state-of-the-art training that engages employees and encourages them to learn when it’s convenient for them.
A recent Harvard Business Review report concluded that the most effective training programs offer learning in small increments, in the context of actual job performance. Training also needs to be measured to calculate the return on investment that it generates.
With a strong training program, operators can reduce turnover, streamline the onboarding process for new hires and increase worker productivity. Perhaps most importantly, the right training program improves employee morale, which in turn translates into a better experience for customers.
Traditional paper-based training programs, however, are not the answer in today’s fast-paced environment. Paper training manuals are difficult to update when procedures and menu items change, especially when training is taking place across multiple locations.
Workers need digital training tools that provide rich content that workers can access anytime, anywhere.
A strong, mobile-based digital training program can reduce the time it takes to train workers, reduce onboarding costs, and monitor employee performance. As workers become more competent using digital training tools, they will become more confident, especially when they can easily see a roadmap to their ongoing development.
Providing workers with training tools they will actually want to use can boost productivity and job satisfaction. A quality learning platform should include features such as microlearning, certifications and gamification, delivered via an easy-to-use and engaging user experience.
Already in use by many of the nation’s leading restaurant operators, PlayerLync’s Mobile Workforce Enablement tools provide workers with on-demand access to content that can be used not only for training but for operational checklists, compliance testing and other functionality.
For more information about how PlayerLync’s Mobile Workforce Enablement tools can help companies compete for workers in today’s environment, visit PlayerLync for Restaurants.
This post is sponsored by PlayerLync