The New Normal: Labour Shortages, Supply Chain Pressure & The Rise Of Digital Automation
In the year of 2020, the world was plunged into an unexpected season of isolation. COVID-19 disrupted the hospitality industry in an unprecedented fashion, with operational measures implemented quickly to slow the transmission of the virus. Social distancing, maximum occupancy requirements, vaccination mandates… Many different tools were implemented to mitigate the disruption caused by the pandemic, reactive to the circumstances of an ever-changing situation.
As the world begins to open up again, 2022 brings its own challenges. Australia is currently experiencing severe supply chain pressure and labour shortages. Most recently, a foot-and-mouth outbreak in Indonesia threatens to impact Australia’s livestock industry. With these challenges, however, come new opportunities.
1. Labour Shortages
As labour shortages are not expected to subside any time soon, it is critical for venues to invest in technology that maximises their efficiency and eases their dependence on employees.
The implementation of digital ordering systems as a result of the pandemic has allowed consumers to engage with technology in a hospitality setting. No longer unfamiliar, online ordering platforms are easily accessible and value the time and comfort of the customer. Investing in an online ordering system is one of the most common and efficient methods to combat labour shortages while maintaining and even increasing venue revenue.
MyTab streamlines staffing requirements, as less staff are needed to take orders and payments. This allows the venue to focus their resources on the preparation of orders. In addition to this, the instant gratification and convenience experienced by the customer when able to order from their phone (as opposed to waiting for a server to take their order or queuing in line) means that customers are likely to spend more per visit.
2. Supply Chain Issues
Digital ordering platforms like MyTab allow the options for venues to simplify and adjust their menus at the touch of a button, mitigating the cost of needing to reprint menus and adjust signage. This helps the venue to streamline the menu to accommodate rising food costs and lack of available staff. In addition to this, it reduces frustration for kitchen staff as customers are limited to the alterations they can make to their orders, as these are set by the venue.
Diversifying menu options is another great way to navigate through supply chain issues. For instance, the plant-based movement has grown significantly over the last few years. By incorporating more plant-based meals into their menus, venues are able to reduce their dependence on meat. As meat is highly impacted by supply chain issues and the looming threat of foot-and-mouth disease, this allows the venue to experience increased reliability of their suppliers, and decreased production costs.
3. Digital Opportunity
The rise of digital automation within the hospitality industry offers a welcome step forward for businesses during these challenging times. Digital ordering platforms like MyTab enhance the experience of customer service, as staff are able to focus on making meaningful connections with customers instead of interacting with them transactionally. This helps to build better customer rapport and increases customer loyalty and retention.
In addition to this, venues can take advantage of the visual nature of MyTab’s digital menu to present new menu options to customers. This increases customer engagement, especially with new menu items that customers have not yet experienced.
MyTab provides not only convenience to the customer, but accessibility to customers with needs that are not easily met by traditional ordering practices. Customers with compromised immune systems will prefer the option for contactless ordering. Customers within the deaf community and customers within the disabled community will appreciate the ease of use.
The adoption of new technology is paramount to hospitality venues surviving this new normal, and here at MyTab we look forward to supporting businesses through these challenges.