In the new restaurant landscape, workforce management is a critical aspect of operational forecasting. The current labor shortage—and new COVID variants—is pushing operators to the limit, forcing many to close dining rooms (just when they were beginning to reopen), rearrange their labor scheduling, limit operating hours, and offer generous sign-on and retention incentives as a labor shortage puts a squeeze on businesses’ operations. According to Quinyx’s 2021 State of the Deskless Workforce Report, 88 percent of workers say they experience stress at their job on a daily basis due to understaffing issues.
Scheduling has always been a time consuming task for restaurant managers, but with so many new variables to consider, the challenge is compounded. If a store is overstaffing, it is likely overpaying and not making the most out of its workforce. If it’s understaffing, it may not hit sales targets and cause unnecessary stress and strain to its hourly workers. Either way, the bottom line and the workforce suffer.
“Restaurant leaders must balance minimum wage requirements; Fair Workweek laws; overtime; paid and unpaid time off; and, most recently, COVID related staffing issues —all of which can get very complicated, especially in the case of franchises who operate in several states,” says Rob Desmond, vice president of North America for Quinyx. “On top of all that, they must consider employee availability and desire to work and make sure employees are paid correctly.”
COVID only exacerbated these scheduling issues. Most restaurants have a large, distributed workforce who don’t have company email addresses making it difficult for employers to communicate with their employees.
“Everyone is looking forward to the day when we can say ‘remember when,’” Desmond says. “Until then, the pandemic has introduced different scheduling requirements and new channels of communication for employers dealing with an hourly workforce, whether that be state-regulated rules, vaccine mandates, last minute changes, contact tracing, or additional training for employees.”
Quinyx’s workforce management solution is a robust, all-in-one, next-gen workforce management cloud-based platform that helps restaurant operators address these scheduling and operational challenges. For example, in a 2021 survey conducted by Quinyx, 59 percent of restaurant hourly workers polled indicated that their employers contact them off-hours on personal channels due to scheduling issues and a lack of adequate technology, while 70 percent said that not having a flexible schedule would be a reason to quit their current job. With the Quinyx mobile app, which has a world class adoption rate, employees can clock in and out, request time off, and stay in constant contact with their employer (and each other) using technology that fits seamlessly into their everyday lives. This aids operators with better time management, communication, and maintains compliance—all of which helps streamline business performance and optimize ROI.
Take Sysco, a company that manufactures, distributes, and stores food. “With so many different skill sets needed to manage their supply chain, you have to balance the right worker working the right shift to meet demand—whether that’s working in the warehouse, manufacturing food, or driving the truck itself,” Desmond says. “We helped Sysco transition from a manual scheduling process to a more data-driven one by building their own ‘gig economy’ so their own workers can create an efficient workforce.”
When employers make it easy for employees to stay in touch with management and each other, consult their schedules, bid on open shifts, swap with coworkers, and place their own shifts up for bid—it leads to increased employee satisfaction, engagement, productivity, and, ultimately, retention. Having tools in place that allow employers to meet employees’ needs for flexibility is an important factor in retaining a restaurant’s hourly workforce. Quinyx also integrates easily with human resources, payroll, and other business applications which operators may already have in place. Additionally, the platform uses artificial intelligence to help with better forecasting, which can increase productivity, save money, and help the company meet sales targets.
“We enable our customers to make sure they have the right employee in the right place at the right time—all while maintaining cost and compliance,” Desmond says.
Quinyx recently closed a $50 million round of funding led by Battery Ventures, which will allow the company to accelerate innovation and expansion in service to foodservice companies, such as McDonald’s, Dominoes, Hello Fresh, and Gorillas Food.
“Workforce management is part of your human capital cadence, so understanding which employee can and can’t work is critical,” Desmond says. ”While we can’t fix the labor shortage, we can provide technology to help employers manage it.”
To learn more about how workforce management can help your brand, visit the Quinyx website.
By Davina van Buren