technology

Technology helps address staffing shortages and inflation

As we continue to navigate staffing shortages and inflation, the hospitality industry is adopting technology tools to help deliver exceptional guest experiences. According to Lightspeed’s 2022 Global State of the Hospitality Industry Report, businesses are getting creative with tech solutions to stay afloat and get ahead.  

Staffing shortages

With 50 per cent of businesses working with less staff than they need, 26 per cent have raised wages to retain and attract talent, and many restaurants are relying on automation to better manage their margins. 57 per cent reported that technology has been instrumental in their survival through the past few years to streamline operations and manage less labour.

As an additional step, many hospitality businesses have cut the number of hours or days they are open, reducing them anywhere from six to 40 per cent. 

As well, when operators were asked which technology improved business the most this year, 12 per cent said they adopted new technology to streamline shifts (including POS or management software), an increase of 7 per cent compared to 2021.

Inflation

In these uncertain economic times, rising inflation remains the top challenge for 37 per cent of restaurant owners. While many restaurateurs struggle with the idea of raising menu prices, 61 per cent did just that to try and recoup their costs.

However, with the return to dining, many restaurants have added items to their menus, after pairing them down in the last few years. On average, menus grew from about 150 items in January 2021 to over 200 items in 2022. So, while the costs may have gone up for consumers, in many cases they have more to choose from on the menu.

RELATED: Food costs continue to soar, even as Canada’s inflation rate slows

As the volume of takeout and delivery orders grew, 21 per cent of restaurant owners brought online ordering in-house to try and avoid third-party fees. Most restaurants have expanded their online ordering in the last year, including 60 per cent of fast casuals, 57 per cent of fine dining, 76 per cent of upscale causals, and 61 per cent of cafes and bakeries.

While the hospitality industry is still facing challenges with staffing shortages and inflation, this year predicts diners continuing to support their favourite spots, with most guests planning to patronize hospitality businesses at the same rate or higher, despite increased costs in 2023.