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Restaurants embrace new technology to beat staffing shortage – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2022-05-13 11:22:23 –

Denver, Colorado — The door is open and the customer is back, but the restaurant owner says things aren’t going back to normal. Staff shortages and inflation are still hitting restaurants across the country, but with innovative technology and training, some restaurants are looking for ways to survive.

“When you leave home, you’re looking for that engagement, socializing with others, and we’ve definitely confirmed that it’s back very much like the last six months,” Courtney Griffiths. Said the general manager of Catbird Hotel Red Barber Restaurant in Denver, Colorado.

With a record number of restaurants this year, 74% of restaurants across the country have reported increased sales, but overall, restaurants are struggling. Compared to last year, this year’s profit margin has dropped from 12% to 10%.

“We all had to be really creative,” Griffith said. “It’s not uncommon for GM to go to a restaurant to eat or take a bus to a table because we’ve been understaffed for a long time.”

Griffith and her team opened a hotel and restaurant in the midst of a pandemic, so from the beginning it had to be run differently.

“We are a 165 room hotel with a rooftop restaurant and bar that can accommodate up to 600 people a day. It typically operates with 75-100 employees and 25-40 people.” Griffith said.

Technology is the greatest help. At the restaurant, customers order and pay on their phone. There is no server, just a food runner.

“They can really focus on the interaction of their guests, not the interaction of transactions,” Griffith said.

All employees are also trained to work in every position.

“We hire to be balanced, so you may come to the breakfast attendant position, but you’re also a front desk concierge, or a weekend banquet food runner.” Griffith said.

These changes helped her retain employees and attract new workers. “You never get tired of your role. People often leave for another position if they feel they aren’t challenged enough,” Griffith said.

She wants other restaurants to follow their lead and make these pandemic changes permanent.

Dennis Mickelson Colorado Restaurant Association I believe it’s already happening.

“Technology will become more and more popular. I don’t think paper menus will necessarily come back. And I think customers are expected and want a little more experience in restaurants. Makes it possible, “says Mickelson.

As customers change, so do workers. Nationally, wages in the food service industry have risen by 10% and more restaurants are offering benefits.

“We’re talking about everything from education costs to health and wellness support, resources, health insurance, visions, 401 (k),” says Mickelson.

These changes caused by the pandemic were difficult for many restaurants to overcome, but they were what many in the service industry wanted.

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