According to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association, steeply rising costs and staffing issues are wreaking havoc on the entire food industry. This, of course, isn’t news to most people. The pandemic, inflation, and other ongoing disturbances to “normal” life have caused drastic changes in what, when, where, and how people are eating, which, in turn, has created a domino effect of problems that are involving most restaurants.
The study indicates 65% of restaurants don’t have enough staff to operate at a capacity that serves current demand. Of those, 20% say they are well below necessary levels of staffing. In addition, 81% say they are currently hiring, but having difficulty filling positions.
86% and 88% say their food costs and labor costs, respectively, have risen since 2019 before the pandemic. This is resulting in higher menu prices, surcharges and fees, reduced profitability, higher debts and loans, decreased capacity and hours, and cutbacks in other areas.
While this all sounds pretty dismal, there are some positive outlooks, as well. One response many restaurateurs have found is to incorporate technological solutions into their daily operations. These technologies don’t replace all human employees, but they do reduce the stress your staff is under. This, of course, has several benefits; after initial investment and setup costs, technological solutions are generally extremely cost-effective, reducing the pressure of adding more debt just to keep the doors open. These technologies also reduce human error and can help customers just as efficiently as employees, if not more so. They allow your skeleton staff to focus on food preparation, cleanup, and creating an inviting environment for your in-person guests.
For example, we’ve heard from many restaurant owners that one thing that definitely needs a solution is the number of phone calls coming in, especially during mealtime rush, that the already understaffed restaurant just can’t handle. Incessant ringing causes stress to employees, and callers can’t get through to place orders and ask questions. Frustration abounds on both sides.
The solution? A phone system for restaurants, like Reachify.
Reachify is a full-service phone provider, but even if you don’t want to switch carriers, Reachify also acts as an auto attendant phone system that can help improve automated customer communication and ease the burden on your staff. Your customers will like it, too! Here’s how it works: when a customer calls your restaurant, they are greeted by an automated message that offers them several options – all of which are customizable to suit your needs. When they select an option, the system sends an automated text message straight from your business phone number to their cell phone, offering them a link to online ordering or reservations, driving directions, forwarding for 3rd party delivery, and much more. This cost-effective commission-free solution can help callers get assistance much faster, and your employees don’t have to worry about all those missed calls adding up during peak rush hours, which makes it a win-win and a no-brainer!
To get a free personalized demo of how Reachify can help your restaurant, contact us here.