What Your Restaurant Can Do About the Labor Shortage

The restaurant industry faces a significant labor shortage, causing many establishments to adapt their operations. Some fast food chains have opted to close their dining rooms, shorten operating hours and place higher demands on current staff to cope with reduced manpower.

The reasons for the shortage, affecting restaurants from quick serve to fine dining, are complex and hotly debated. Whether it’s due to longstanding issues with low wages and tough working conditions, or the lingering effect of the pandemic on the hospitality sector, the result is the same: restaurants must do more with less.

Impact on restaurant operations

Operating with fewer staff members can disrupt restaurant operations in various ways.

In full-service restaurants, fewer front-of-house staff may lead to larger workloads per employee, potentially resulting in slower or poorer service as servers rush between tables. Similarly, fewer back-of-house workers can mean longer wait times for orders and an increased risk of errors due to rushed preparation.

Ultimately, this can lead to decreased efficiency lower revenue — not to mention dissatisfied customers.

To address these challenges, many restaurants have adjusted their hours — eliminating a meal period like lunch or an entire day of service — reduced seating capacity, or streamlined their menu to simplify kitchen operations.

Innovative solutions

Addressing this industry-wide challenge requires a multifaceted approach. Operators are not only focusing on improving staffing levels but also on adjusting processes to boost efficiency and throughput.

On the staffing side, restaurants can explore creative (and generous) hiring tactics. A focus on retaining existing workers by boosting morale and creating a positive work environment can also have a lasting impact.

Meanwhile, on the operational side, establishments are finding ways to reduce the number of employees needed to run a restaurant efficiently. Beef O’Brady’s, for example, is exploring options like menu items requiring less preparation, tableside ordering and payment technologies, and more efficient back-of-house equipment to achieve this goal.

Optimizing operational efficiency

In fact, equipment upgrades can significantly impact labor requirements. Automating labor-intensive tasks frees up personnel for other duties and reduces the hours needed to churn out meals — and may even impact employee retention.

For instance, AyrKing’s DrumRoll Automated Breader streamlines the breading process, enabling restaurants to produce the same amount of freshly breaded fried foods with less labor.

Fresh breading is typically a labor-intensive process. But the unique spinning helix design of the DrumRoll quickly and efficiently breads proteins and vegetables, reducing labor and accelerating production by an average of 25%. It takes just one minute to bread 60 wings or 40 seconds to bread eight pieces of chicken.

In addition, the DrumRoll is ideal for kitchens where there are often new and inexperienced workers because there’s very little training involved — as opposed to hand breading, which requires solid training and experience to achieve consistent results.

The DrumRoll Automated Breader also improves product consistency by more than 30% over traditional hand breading, providing a better customer experience.

Pair the AyrKing DrumRoll with our Breader Blender Sifter for even more efficiency. The BBS cuts hand-sifting time by 80% and extends the life of breading mixtures, reducing waste and cutting costs. Learn more about the DrumRoll Automated Breader.

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No matter where you are around the globe, AyrKing is always ready to help you find the best commercial food prep equipment for your operation. Use our convenient online locator to connect with a distributor or representative in your area.
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