Automation Providing Relief During Labor Shortage

Posted on 3rd Aug 2021

The economic downturn accompanying COVID-19 has had a significant effect on the availability of workers—particularly in the foodservice industry.

Caused by a number of factors, the labor shortage has become widespread across numerous industries. According to the National Restaurant Association’s summary of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics published in May 2021, employment at eating and drinking businesses was down by about 12%, representing 1.5 million fewer jobs than pre-pandemic levels.

So how do foodservice directors move forward with less staff, while having the same tasks and requirements needed to ensure food availability and safety? With the high cost of recruiting, hiring, training and retaining staff, one solution is to invest in an automated kitchen in which technology can be used to fill in staffing gaps and prepare for workers to return.

For example, automation simplifies certain tasks and moves workers to where they can be more efficient and effective, ensuring the food served to customers is safe and enjoyable. It takes energy and skill as a foodservice director to manage a kitchen operation that involves both front- and back-of-house responsibilities, but access to cutting-edge technology will increase the efficiency of managing day-to-day responsibilities, such as employee scheduling, food prep tasks, equipment cleaning and tracking incoming shipments of goods.

An automated kitchen can increase productivity and reduce chance of error. One such system, the MenuCommand® Kitchen Automation Platform by DayMark, provides applications for task management, receiving, menu labeling and temperature monitoring. Using a web portal, foodservice directors can document the progress of ongoing operations in both the front- and back-of-house quickly and efficiently with a variety of tools that address the assignment and tracking of tasks, flexible scheduling, employee training and recording daily health details, including temperature measurement if necessary.

The labor shortage is not expected to end any time soon. Workers are not just being cautious about the health risks in returning to the workplace—some are looking for benefits including better pay, improved hours and access to childcare. By investing in a more efficient and effective technology solution for front- and back-of-house operations, directors can address their current staffing issues while simultaneously preparing for future increase in demand.

Article originally appeared on the FSD website. 

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