Think about how much time it takes to officially bring on a new staff member. You need to create a hiring campaign, interview candidates, onboard the new team member, and account for the learning curve. With so many restaurant positions to hire for, this can all add up quickly.
Now imagine that after all that, your new recruit either decides to quit or you decide they aren’t cut for your restaurant.
Now picture all of that time in dollars.
How much time did you waste? How much money did you lose? How did this entire process impact your guest experience?
Restaurant employee turnover isn’t to be taken lightly. At a staggeringly high 66%, this turnover rate shows that keeping staff on your restaurant’s payroll isn’t an easy task. However, there are creative ways to engage staff with technology and keep them productive in an effort to reduce turnover.
Let’s take a look at three ways to use your restaurant technology effectively and keep your staff motivated, productive, and on your team for years to come.
Restaurant Kiosks and Tableside Ordering Tablets
What They Are
The restaurant experience is no longer in your hands – it is in those of your customers.
Self-order kiosks in QSRs and tableside tablets in FSRs have revolutionized the restaurant experience for your guests, giving them the ability to customize orders to their liking without repeating requests or feeling self-conscious about asking for multiple customizations (no cheese, add onions, dressing on the side, chicken well done, and extra croutons… please). Kiosks also eliminate the chance for miscommunication between the order taker and the customer.
Kiosks help keep your lines moving at fast casual restaurants, while tableside tablets reduce the number of trips servers need to make at each table. With built-in credit card processing, these ordering methods also increase the speed of payment.
How This Reduces Turnover
During the busy lunch and dinner rushes, your cashiers and servers can easily get overwhelmed, or “in the weeds,” when they are responsible for a slew of customers. Kiosks can take some of that stress off their plates, freeing them up to focus more on providing a great customer experience. With shorter lines in QSRs, your staff can engage with customers more and – believe it or not – take a breath every once in awhile. There will also be fewer order errors and less chance for your staff to feel discouraged.
Tableside tablets increase the speed of ordering and gets food to tables faster. With a more efficient process, there is a chance for servers’ tips to increase. If servers are making more tips at your restaurant than they would at another, is it likely they will leave?
Handheld Server Tablets
What They Are
Handheld server tablets are an easy way for your waiters and waitresses to keep track of tables and quickly fire orders to the kitchen.
Instead of writing down orders or memorizing them, checking with two or three more tables, and then heading over to the POS to enter the order, servers can use these tablets to enter orders right from the table. This can save minutes between customers placing their order and the kitchen actually receiving the order.
Acting as a mobile POS, these tablets allow servers to carry all the information they need with them. From which tables to manage, to what menu items are out of stock, to taking payment right at the table with pre-suggested tip amounts, these tablets make your servers’ jobs a whole lot easier.
How This Reduces Turnover
Handheld tablets offer many of the same benefits as tableside tablets. Much like tableside tablets, handheld tablets increase efficiency. However, they are much less invasive to the customer’s experience, especially at FSRs. According to the 2016 Restaurant Technology Report, the majority of diners (52%) agree that tableside tablets improve their restaurant experience; an even larger majority (68%) say the same about server handheld tablets.
Also, with faster table turn times, servers see a 30% tip increase due to increased efficiency. Your staff will feel more productive because they will be more productive – and they will be rewarded for it.
Integrated Inventory Tracking and Sales Reports
What it is
Let’s not forget – that high employee turnover rate includes those who did not choose to leave their jobs. Some are fired for bad performance or for breaking the rules.
Employee theft is a big deal for many restaurants. Stealing occurs in many forms, whether it be from your register or from your refrigerator. With an integrated sales reporting feature and an inventory tracking system, this theft from your staff becomes less of a worry.
Sales reporting allows you to see what your total sales were for the day – taking into account discounts, specials, and payment method. Integrated inventory tracking allows you to measure depletion and usage from your POS and compare it against your actual sitting inventory. With both of these reports, you can immediately spot a difference between actual and expected numbers for sales and inventory.
How This Reduces Turnover
There are two ways sales reporting and inventory tracking integrated into your POS can help you manage employees better and reduce turnover.
First, these reports will help you identify any mismatch between your actual sitting inventory and your inventory reports. You can then narrow down who could have been responsible for the theft or discrepancy based on the shift. You can also take note of the difference between your sales report and the money you actually took in to see if an employee was skimming from the register.
With this kind of technology, you can find out who is stealing from you much easier and can confront that person privately. After all, it could just be a misunderstanding.
The second benefit comes from more of a cautionary perspective. When onboarding new employees, express how much excitement you have about the accuracy of your inventory and sales reports, and explain that getting away with theft is nearly impossible. Some employees try to steal from restaurants because they think they can get away with it. If they know they can’t, that’s one less “you’re fired” that you’ll have to dole out.
Reducing Restaurant Turnover With New Technology
Turnover isn’t fun. While you will always have new faces joining and old faces leaving, you should try to keep your existing staff engaged and on your team for as long as possible with a great work culture. Plus, reducing turnover saves money and helps provide a consistent experience for guests..
With modern and efficient technology like kiosks, tablets, and POS-integrated sales & inventory reporting, you can reduce the likelihood of theft, keep staff accountable, and work towards getting them higher tips.
AJ Beltis is a blogger and content marketer for Toast, Inc. Toast is a modern, cloud-based point of sale and management platform designed exclusively for restaurants. You can learn more about Toast POS and what it can do for your restaurant here.