According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, the quick-service industry is expected to grow by 4.9 percent in 2013, bringing in an estimated $188.1 billion in 2013. To support this massive industry, restaurants will employ 13.1 million individuals in 2013, which equates to 10 percent of the national workforce. This employment growth is positive for the industry; however, it brings about challenges recruiting and retaining employees this year. To address these challenges, 64 percent of quick service and 53 percent of fast-casual operators say they plan to devote more resources to training in 2013.
With the influx of new employees, it will be critical for restaurants to provide proper training to keep turnover low and develop reliable, professional employees. As we’ve discussed, security and surveillance solutions are used in the food services market to prevent shrinkage and aid in the safety and protection of customers and restaurant owners. However, surveillance solutions can also play a role in employee training by allowing restaurant operators to view multiple stores from a single location.
Surveillance systems allow owners and area managers to train employees on how to interact with customers. With certain camera placement, operators can view and hear employees’ interactions with customers as well as their POS screen inputs. This allows restaurants to ensure transactions are being captured properly and customer service guidelines are met. With these systems, area mangers can also monitor numerous stores remotely to ensure hospitality protocols are being followed properly and the visual layout of the store is accurate. This tool allows area managers to build metrics and meet with store managers and show them what they are doing right and where improvements are needed.
It is important to be upfront and transparent with employees about video surveillance technology. Employees should understand that video cameras are installed to keep them safe from potentially dangerous customers, in addition to being used to monitor their performance. Also, it is beneficial to use the surveillance tools to get to know your employees personally. When restaurant operators are on the store floor and can give positive reinforcement and personal feedback to employees, it will make them feel valued and accountable.
As restaurants evaluate training tools in the new year, we encourage IT managers and owners to look at how they can leverage security and surveillance systems already in place to aid in employee training. For those considering purchasing new security solutions, it is beneficial to think beyond basic security and loss prevention applications. Taking a holistic approach will allow restaurants to maximize their return on investment (ROI) and streamline IT management through integrated solutions.