MURTEC the “Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference” is the mecca for all the latest trends in restaurant tech. This year's conference took place at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas from March 9-11. The Grasp team shared our innovative products on the show floor, making several new partnerships in the industry speaking with attendees, voting in competitions, and participating in networking workshops and events. Although attendance was down 30% due to COVID-19 concerns, MURTEC was able to continue before much of Las Vegas began to shut down amenities. Here are a couple key takeaways, lessons and predictions from MURTEC 2020.
Labor Shortages, Hiring, Training and Employees
Retaining restaurant employees is a major pain point in the industry and can have a direct impact on the success of an establishment. According to the National Restaurant Association, "It costs roughly $2,000 to recruit and train a new hire into the restaurant business." And once opportunity costs of hiring an experienced staff person to instruct, the cost can be as high as $5,000. And for managers,"It’s about $15,000."
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 annual employee turnover rate for the restaurant industry was nearly 75%, the highest it's been in five years. Another recent study of 30,000 restaurants reported a turnover of 102% for hourly staff at full-service restaurants.
Many in the industry are facing challenges training and retaining frontline employees. This constant loss of employee talent drains time, energy, and money. It detracts from team morale and cuts profits. It’s a huge challenge for restaurants right now already suffering from low margins.
HERE'S WHAT THE LABOR FORCE IS TELLING US:
- 87% of employees value training and development
- 40% of employees who receive poor job training leave within the first year
- 60% of the workforce is millennial or Gen Z, and many of those people are looking for a career in the industry
Turnover comes down to successful onboarding, engagement, information access, and ongoing training. How are you leveraging technology to develop a career roadmap for someone who starts off as a dishwasher or sous chef?
SaaS Platforms Are Here To Stay - Even For Large Chains
More and more companies can be seen turning towards external SaaS solutions to tackle business issues. Building solutions in-house might be an attractive (and affordable) option to many brands, but it’s only more recently that big brands are turning more towards external solutions that taking the development work on in-house.
“The ROI on building technology is substantial, but there’s something to say about, when you don’t have the resources, utilizing SaaS platforms that have been proven and tested by other organizations."
— Cris Demetry, VP of IT Technical Technologies
Large corporate chains may have the budget for technology, but most of the foundational support structure to implement that technology successfully may be lacking. Also, many corporate-level executives don’t understand the ease-of-use and efficiency upgrades that can come from adopting an external SaaS solution.