Sponsored article by Harri.
The hospitality industry has been hit hard.
At least 1,500 UK hospitality businesses have already folded and for those who have opened, some have delivered only 5% of revenue with national unemployment levels rising to 4.9%.
For most, 2021 will be a fight for survival.
Managing operational costs has never been so crucial and to manage this, restaurateurs need to invest in their tech stack now. Agility is key; furlough and opening times are a moving feast; Brexit will present even more national talent shortages, and a system to accurately manage minute by minute revenue with the ability to change rotas at the click of a button will not only manage labour costs, but also save expensive resource and time.
Efficiency is essential
Even for those who were lucky to see increased demand, like quick service restaurants (QSRs), it's been far from easy. Previously, QSRs were always the poor relation. Yet they've now become icons of the pandemic. They've fought their corner and proved themselves to be recession-proof by innovating, quickly and dynamically – from handling mile-long queues to adjusting their supply chain to fulfil a surge in orders. They've managed to cash in on delivery, drive-through and takeaway, all whilst ensuring safety and effective people management.
Before, it was attractive to work for a five-star restaurant. Today, many people are seeking a career in QSRs because of the focus they put on both innovation and their people. The hospitality industry can learn a lot if they take note.
With technology comes information, and this should be capitalised on. That's certainly what KFC have done. They have used data to more acutely predict high delivery demand periods, analyse consumer behaviour, and reduce the number of order mistakes.
They wanted to create a seamless customer experience (or ‘frictionless fried chicken'). As KFC's CTO puts it, to do so required "online training at all levels". He said that employees had to focus not just on the product and preparation, but also on the digital component.
So don't just use technology – make the most of it, and ensure that your staff are able to unlock its full potential. To improve the customer experience, for example, try a higher level of personalisation. You could provide tailored options gained from insights like order history and preferences. If your team is given the tools to carry it out effectively, it's a sure-fire way to gain customer loyalty.
Refine the digital experience
You need to ensure that the online experience is 100% seamless. User-friendly design is the exact reason why applications like Just Eat and Deliveroo are so popular.
Most people rely on their mobile phones for at least some of their internet use, but your desktop browser experience should be just as slick. Your hospitality website needs to be fully responsive, with an optimised booking engine if applicable.
The digital experience extends beyond what it does for your customer though. Elements of your workforce management can also be enhanced through technology. And that's why so many hospitality businesses are turning to Harri.
Our action-oriented people technology is made for people. Through its easy-to-use interface, you'll be able to increase the profile of your employer brand, onboard your new employees seamlessly, as well as deliver career progression and training programmes to roll out any QSR-inspired strategies.
From the smart scheduling system and timesheet compliance tool to multi-channel team notifications, Harri's integrated solution gives you back your time, boosts the engagement of your people, and empowers you to drive performance through smart scheduling and payroll.
Demipower, KFC's second largest franchisee, uses our smart scheduling tool. To date, Harri has saved them £1.7m by reducing the errors associated with their manual-based systems, and increasing employee satisfaction and engagement. In an era where dynamism, efficiency and a great customer experience is highly rewarded, this has been essential.
To find out more about the advantages of Harri and its workforce management solution for your hospitality business, head over to our website.