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January 25, 2019 Foodservice Innovations

How to Improve Labor Costs Through Smarter Equipment

“Labor Savings” in Foodservice

Improving labor costs in restaurants doesn’t necessarily mean reducing overhead – quite often restaurants are already running tight and staffing less wouldn’t be a good idea. Costs can be improved by focusing on overall efficiency, training, and retention. This is where the use of modern equipment and optimized kitchen design comes in.

Problems:

Worker Shortage and High Turnover: Labor recruitment, training, and retaining talent remain a top challenge in the foodservice business. Restaurant staff turnover causes problems; expensive, slow service, and it damages the overall guest experience.

Contributing Factors:

  • High employment demand in the hospitality industry
  • High turnover rate creates cost. (finding, hiring, training time required to get a new employee up to full productivity)
  • Competition between chains has intensified with some promising better benefits and a healthier work environment. Some larger chains even offer programs to help employees pay for college tuition, enticing employees to move from one employer to the next.
  • It’s an industry where many young people work while in high school or college, but move on after graduation.
  • Less young people are interested. They prefer to build resume than having a job.
  • Traditionally, these jobs attract a lot of immigrants, but now more educated immigrants pursue better jobs.

Challenges:

  • Maintain consistent food quality and service standards
  • Accelerate onboarding
  • Create an environment people like where people want to stay
  • Empower employees (provide more responsibilities)
  • Grow your business despite above challenges
  • Reduce cost while doing so

Solution:

  • Streamline operational processes to ensure efficiency
  • Optimize the workflow in the kitchen (Welbilt fitKitchen analysis) implementing the right kind of equipment
    • Use equipment that offers multiple cooking functions to a) optimize the flow in your kitchen and b) allow you to grow your business by adding new menu items
  • Offer training on more intuitive, user-friendly equipment
    • Welbilt’s easyTouch® icon-driven controls minimize training time and errors, reducing stress in a hectic kitchen.
  • easyTouch® walks employees through the cooking process, which frees up time for employees assume more responsibilities and boosts overall morale.
  • Eliminate time-consuming and repetitive tasks that workers hate
    • Ex. Welbilt equipment offers self-cleaning features.
  • Implement equipment that tells you what needs to be done
    • Ex. Fryers that tell you when oil needs to be changed.
  • Increase safety and overall convenience with equipment that alerts you to its needs
  • Technological innovations and automation in the kitchen are allowing more time for “meaningful” interactions and provide a better customer experience.
  • Select connected equipment: If you’re responsible for several stores, you’ll get valuable insights sent directly to your device that allow you to make more informed business decisions.
    • Ex. How to allocate human resources
    • Ex. Identifying peak times at particular stores (This helps prevent costly under or overstaffing.)

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