By David Galante, senior director, Food & Beverage Solutions Management, Oracle
With the food and beverage industry moving lightning fast, restaurant managers are pulled in more directions than ever in their day-to-day routines, making their reliance on team members — specifically a growing millennial workforce — more critical than ever. With the right technology, every member of a restaurant’s staff can be an all-star, specifically technology applications that help attract and retain tech-savvy millennials who want a work experience that matches that of their personal routine of mobile coffee orders and travel booking.
Attracting talent? There’s an app for that
Restaurant operators can embrace technology from the start by incorporating it into the recruitment process. Millennial workers want an easy and simple application process, and using more automated application tools and smart-screening capabilities streamline hiring by helping better match prospective employees with specific job qualifications, simplifying the vetting process.
Once new employees are hired, technology applications that assist with the onboarding process are equally as critical for new employees and the restaurant managers, who they’ll be supporting. For instance, online training portals for new employees can minimize the amount of time a new hire needs to spend learning on the job, ensuring near immediate contributions to a restaurant’s operations.
Retention isn’t only for guests
While hiring and onboarding technology is important for attracting and hiring millennials, integrating technology to assist with daily restaurant operations and tasks is even more critical for consistently retaining top talent. It’s no secret Gen Y relies on technology within their daily lives, with 87 percent of millennials using their smartphones daily and 52 percent of them wanting the ability to manage and access loyalty programs on those phones, according to Oracle’s “Millennials and Hospitality: The Redefinition of Service” report. Similarly, 94 percent of millennials use their smartphones in a restaurant, a clear sign they want the same technology for taking orders that they are used to carrying in their hands when not at work.
However, many millennials working in the food and beverage and hospitality industries find their jobs aren’t replicating this technology-heavy approach. In fact, more than a third of these employees (36 percent) polled think their employers could make better use of technology. If newly hired millennials can leverage mobile devices for order taking and payments, they are not only more inclined to feel more satisfied in their job, they have the power to improve the diner’s experience.
When dining doesn’t leverage technology to support improving the patron’s experience, it reflects on the overall guest experience.
For example, workplace technology like mobile devices enables employees to take a drink order and send it to the bar immediately while diners are still figuring out what they want to eat. The customer is satisfied and the server, a millennial, is conducting order taking in a fashion they are accustom to, on a mobile device. Similarly, this expedited order-processing allows for cooks and those working behind-the-scenes to get ahead of preparing a meal and anticipate additional orders set to arrive, reflecting positivity on them and the server placing the order.
This path forward undeniably will rely on technologies that make restaurants smarter, accelerate service and, most importantly, personalize experiences for each and every consumer
…And neither are rewards
Restaurant managers are well-aware of the positive impact technology can have on retaining customers and building loyalty and should maintain a similar approach with their workforce. Just like customers, millennial employees want to be frequently rewarded, and incorporating performance-review technology allows strong employees to accelerate their growth within the company, making them less likely to explore other job opportunities. An automated and expedited performance-review system will go a long way toward keeping and advancing employees within the company, and more-tenured and skilled employees will make restaurant managers’ already-busy jobs all that easier.
Source: Fast Casual