Boosting the Bottom Line: Transforming Restaurant Operations Amid Labor & Cost Pressures

May 7, 2024
Cost Pressures

It’s no secret, running a restaurant has become increasingly challenging in recent years. Between inflation and heightened customer expectations, many businesses have found it tough to keep pace. But rather than just struggling through, some restaurant brands are finding smart ways to adapt and stay on top.

Rising Hospitality Labor Costs

One of the primary challenges affecting the industry is the sharp rise in labor costs. The escalating minimum wage rates, employee benefit expenses, and the persistent challenge of attracting and retaining competent staff have all compounded the financial burden. As a result, many restaurant owners are actively exploring innovative solutions to alleviate these costs while ensuring that the quality of service and dining experience remain uncompromised.

Impact on Pricing and Inflation

The labor-intensive nature of the restaurant business makes it particularly susceptible to inflationary pressures. As labor costs soar, restaurant operators are often left with no choice but to adjust their menu pricing to accommodate the increased expenses. This, in turn, can have a direct impact on the overall inflation rate within the food services industry. In a recent article by the Kansas City Fed*, it was noted that strong demand coupled with labor constraints has been a driving force behind increased food services inflation. This confluence of factors has presented a formidable challenge for restaurateurs seeking to strike a balance between profitability and affordability for their patrons.

Strategies for Managing Labor Costs

Despite these challenges, there are ways for restaurants to manage their labor costs without cutting corners. Using modern technology and smarter ways of working can make a big difference. Tools for managing staff and tracking performance can help restaurants run more efficiently, saving money without sacrificing service.

Tech Solutions: Ziosk Leading the Way

In the quest to address labor and cost pressures, Ziosk's restaurant technology can be a valuable solution. The comprehensive platform acts as a service multiplier, enhancing not only the dining experience but also operational efficiency, ultimately reducing labor costs for restaurants.

Ziosk brings a myriad of benefits to the table. First, by providing guests with interactive tabletop tablets, Ziosk enables guests to browse menus, place orders, and even make payment directly from their seats. This approach eliminates the need for additional staff to take orders and process payments, freeing up labor resources.

Furthermore, Ziosk's technology enhances accuracy by enabling direct ordering from the table to the kitchen. This significantly reduces the risk of errors and mistakes, thereby improving customer satisfaction and eliminating the need for labor-intensive corrections and remakes.

Ziosk's platform seamlessly integrates with existing point-of-sale systems, offering guests quick, secure payment options at their table while eliminating chargebacks. This frees servers from bill settlement duties, enabling them to attend to more guests and provides a simple yet effective cost-saving solution for restaurants.

Additionally, Ziosk facilitates loyalty engagement at the table. By integrating restaurant loyalty programs into the payment flow of its Pro Server Tablets with Drop & Pay, Ziosk ensures that 100% of paying guests have the opportunity to engage with the program. This seamless integration enables guests to easily enroll in the loyalty program and access personalized offers. This enhanced tableside engagement removes friction from the experience and strengthens loyalty program participation, which helps deliver a profitable customer retention strategy to offset rising costs. 

Lastly, Ziosk's technology enables restaurants to gather valuable customer feedback. By offering interactive surveys, guests can share their dining experiences and provide insights that can help restaurants continuously improve their operations. This valuable feedback loop empowers restaurants to make data-driven decisions, optimize their processes, and, in turn, minimize labor inefficiencies.

Ziosk's restaurant software and technology provide the industry with a path to more productivity and enhanced hospitality. The seamless integration of guest-facing solutions with your point-of-sale system not only streamlines operations but also contributes to order accuracy, faster payment processing, and valuable guest insights. As the restaurant industry continues to face labor and cost pressures, embracing technology like Ziosk is a smart investment in the future of your business.

* Ask an Economist: Labor constraints and strong demand are driving robust food services inflation

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