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The Quarterly Canadian Restaurant Intelligence Report

8 Strategies to Survive the Labor Shortage (That Don’t Involve Hiring)

By Jason BenchetritJunior Associate at MeazureUp

Restaurants are facing unprecedented labor shortages, with seemingly no end in sight— and no simple solutions. But restaurant owners and managers can’t change the issues behind the problem. Instead, it’s time to look at ways to sidestep the shortage. 

Here are eight strategies for doing more with less and mitigating staffing challenges in the process.

Upgraded Kitchen Display Systems Streamline Back of House Operations

An upgraded KDS helps you operate with fewer, less experienced back of house (BOH) employees. They manage orders over multiple channels, so staff can focus on food preparation. Some modern systems even group items that can be prepared simultaneously, reducing separate cooking processes.

Tableside Payments Offload Payment Tasks to Customers

The payments process is a massive resource drain. Tableside payments, on the other hand, shift payment processing to customers, freeing staff for other work. Most customers appreciate the offering, as they can take control of payment and keep possession of their credit cards.

Handheld POS Terminals Enhance Order Throughput

With well-designed handheld POS terminals, your existing staff can increase order throughput and create positive customer interactions. POS terminals support roving drive-thru personnel and “line-busting” inside the restaurant, saving staff time and reducing errors.

Better Onboarding Solutions Improve Training Quality

Although effective initial training improves employees’ success and longevity, it’s often haphazard and piecemeal. Consider employing a digital checklist for a fast, affordable training app that ensures comprehensive and consistent onboarding. New hires proceed through predefined steps, and managers can see which trainees are where in the process.

Self-Service Kiosks Relieve Front of House Pressure

Self-service kiosks save staff time during ordering or counter service. And in many restaurant formats, a kiosk can handle most cashier transactions. You’ll still need front of house (FOH) personnel, but with the kiosks handling simple purchases, you can work with a leaner staff.

Modern Scheduling Software Eliminates Manual Work (and Guesswork)

Modern scheduling software eliminates much of the manual work of scheduling employees. The best solutions also recommend staffing levels based on prior sales data pulled from the restaurant’s POS terminals, so managers don’t overstaff and waste limited person-hours or understaff and snarl up production. 

Retention Initiatives Slow the Need for New Hires

Employee retention avoids the labor shortage problem by keeping staff who know processes, menus, and tricks of the trade. Keep reliable veterans with incentives like bonuses, recognition, better benefits, and supportive apps, such as digital checklists.

Digital Checklists Help Restaurants Produce More — Even with Fewer Employees

Individual unit managers and shift managers have to keep track of a lot, and no single leader can be present at all times. Many restaurants still rely on messy paper checklists and logs, but it takes hours of precious work time to extract any actionable data from them.

A digital checklist automates data collection and aggregation. Employees save time over filling in paper checklists, and managers get real-time updates and alerts when tasks aren’t completed. They can see at a glance what is and isn’t getting done, as well as who is (or isn’t) doing it. Freed from grappling with paper checklists, managers have real-time data to support a leaner team and the time to do it.

Employees following digital checklists also meet quality standards more consistently, which drives customer loyalty and increases sales. Even with a lean team, you can leverage checklists to grow business and enhance your brand.

DailyChex: A Better Approach to Checklists

DailyChex is the digital checklist solution from MeazureUp that enables multisite restaurants to capture day-to-day checklists, temperature logs, and health and safety records quickly and easily from every unit

When checklists go digital, so does data collection, allowing local and corporate leadership to make better, data-fueled decisions. Local store operations improve as well thanks to better decision-making, less manual work, clearer direction for staff, and better processes and consistency.

Ready to see how your restaurants can do more even with limited resources?

Visit and schedule a demo today. 

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The Quarterly Canadian Restaurant Intelligence Report