Tech Can Fix Labor Woes in Restaurant Industry

Jan 31, 2019

STEPHEN AUSTIN — Queens Borough, January 31, 2019 |

Amidst a crippling labor shortage coupled with an annual employee turnover rate of 73 percent in the restaurant industry, operators today are desperate for a solution to attract and retain talent.

With an already small pool of workers, filling last-minute shift openings can be incredibly burdensome, especially as managers struggle to find qualified, available labor and meet their customers’ demand for fast and efficient service.

The restaurant industry is becoming increasingly tech-driven, leveraging tabletop POS systems and services like Yelp reviews to create more efficiencies and enhance the brand experience, so it only makes sense that operators also use tech to solve two of the biggest challenges they’re facing: filling shift gaps and reducing employee turnover.


Artificial intelligence is a great tool that can innovate the entire employee onboarding process, serving especially useful for restaurant operators that need to find labor fast.

For example, AI-powered chatbots can address this challenge by engaging, screening and onboarding candidates with the highest matching scores, saving operators time spent sifting through resumes.

Candidates can then simply text information to the chatbot, allowing it to be automatically recorded and populated throughout the application/employee profile, without the need to reenter the same information multiple times.

In addition to streamlining employee onboarding, AI-enabled scheduling technology can automatically recognize shift openings based on the customer rush that is expected. When a last-minute gap is identified in a schedule, the shift can automatically be advertised to other available workers.

By handling the communication on behalf of the restaurant and its employees, operators are relieved from constantly managing schedules and coordinating shifts.


Today’s workforce increasingly values flexible schedules, which can be a major contributor in overall employee satisfaction. In a recent survey, 38 percent of workers reported that they would be more motivated in their positions if they were able to work on their own terms, which has fueled the growth of the gig economy.

In return, many companies have leveraged a gig economy model as an effective way to attract and retain workers. However, with the growth of this emergent employee model, many workers are considered independent contractors and not employees, thus stripping them of benefits and protections.

The gig approach’s impact in the restaurant industry has been particularly prevalent in food delivery, with services like Grubhub and UberEats deploying that model.

While it certainly alleviates a lot of concerns and headaches for operators, it can have a negative impact on the brand ranging from the high fees these companies charge, to the gig workers not being as motivated as they should due to the lack of benefits.

This trend involving third-party deliverers is becoming increasingly relevant, as stories continue to emerge of drivers acting inappropriately towards customers – or even eating their food!?

Companies like ShiftPixy have the tech infrastructure to solve these same issues but also ensure workers are protected and receive benefits, which ultimately helps the workers as well as protects the brand’s reputation.


As employee turnover remains a prominent issue for restaurant operators, many will turn to the gig economy as a solution, but in doing so, lose control of their brand.

ShiftPixy can serve as the solution to the restaurant industry’s labor woes, flipping the gig economy on its head by prioritizing flexibility and benefits, all through automating as much of the HR stack as possible.

With administrative duties comprising 54 percent of a manager’s time, operators don’t have the bandwidth to monitor schedules, fill last-minute shift openings, or worry about a third-party deliverer potentially harming their brand.

With solutions out in the marketplace like ShiftPixy, restaurants are relieved of many administrative burdens, and are able to redirect their time to focus on boosting their business productivity

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