Industry researchers say the social and economic factors putting potential restaurant hires in short supply are unlikely to change for the better anytime soon. Many young people prefer to bolster their resumes through community service or internships rather than earn spending money from a summer or weekend job. And hiring immigrants carries its own set of challenges.
Both of those traditional sources of restaurant labor are shrinking fast, yet restaurant expansion has accelerated, pushing demand for job candidates further above the limited supply. Part of the competition is coming from the gig economy, with ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft vying for essentially the same pool targeted by restaurants. Places lucky enough to field a full staff are paying considerably more for what had been the status quo.
Addressing the issue
Short of cloning, the best an operator can do in addressing the labor issue—the top concern at present for the business—is managing it astutely. But many overlook a potent tool that’s literally at their fingertips: their POS systems. The old adage holds that one can’t manage something they can’t measure, and the best of today’s systems can provide far more precise and comprehensive tracking of labor-related expenses than the industry might have imagined a decade ago.
A good point of sales system will make collecting and analyzing the information easy for the user, says PDQ POS, which has worked closely with restaurants for more than 30 years to meet their management needs, no matter how unique. Delivery, for instance, poses a new challenge for many operators. Yet PDQ is experienced and adept at providing the order-taking systems of pizza chains and other delivery specialists, including its largest customer, a 2800+ unit nationwide QSR franchise. Whatever the needs, it has the know-how and software capabilities to provide the solutions.
Critical POS capabilities
It advises operators to ease the task of preserving margins in today’s high-cost labor market by using these often-overlooked capabilities of an effective POS platform:
- Amassing labor data: A strong POS takes customer orders, tracks every sales dollar in and out, and accounts for staff work time. It also amasses and aggregates every facet of labor data so the customer can harness it in various ways. For example, by knowing how it is spending money on labor, the customer then can better assess decisions regarding labor allocation going forward.
- Providing all-inclusive labor reporting: A POS provider should provide full-featured, secure, cloud-based, on-demand labor reporting. It should compile disparate raw labor data and present it in an in-depth format to demonstrate its commitment to ongoing success vis a vis labor cost containment and ongoing staff satisfaction. Knowledge is power when it comes to labor, and the more information operators have the better they are equipped to make decisions regarding their labor needs for the future.
- Offering holistic labor cost monitoring: A robust POS system should be able to amass data-driven labor metrics and show it in data-informed ways that allow for real-time, spontaneous adjustments that are meaningful and measurable. How many delivery drivers a customer puts on the road in a particular shift may be subject to such adjustments, for example.
- Labor forecasting: Historical, comparative smart sales data reporting through on-demand, secure, cloud-based POS reporting can help with labor forecasting. Does one particular season require more workers than another? Labor forecasting can assist with this kind of decision-making.
- Integrating with top-tier scheduling providers: The POS should be the hub, and the POS provider should coordinate and provide the necessary support. The system should offer real-time, data-driven and data-informed metrics via a secure, cloud-based app.
- Containing cost: A top-notch POS system should offer innovation in hardware, software and services. (Hardware includes self-service kiosks, software is online ordering and services comprise the call center.) Technology across the system needs to stay up-to-date.
Labor costs and the labor shortage are not easy problems for restaurants to solve in the short term. But a capable POS system can help operators better track and record their expenses, maintain and control their labor costs, and project out their labor needs to continue to perform successfully.
Find out more about how PDQ POS can help you better manage labor by signing up for a demo here.
This post is sponsored by PDQ POS