Sponsored by DayMark
The tight labor market and challenges in the supply chain are forcing foodservice operators throughout the industry to rethink their operations and explore new ways of doing business.
Operators are considering systems that help them manage menu information, employee workflows, and labeling and food safety protocols more effectively, as well as solutions that streamline processes, facilitate training and enhance retention.
Some of the pressures that are impacting foodservice, such as supply-chain delays caused by port congestion, are expected to be transitory. Others may have long-lasting, and possibly permanent, negative impacts on operators.
Among the pressures is the shift toward more remote and hybrid work from home routines, which are reducing sales not only at traditional restaurants near business centers, but also at many on-site foodservice operators. This is especially true in the business-and-industry and healthcare foodservice sectors, according to the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. Many hospital administrative workers, like their counterparts in other industries, continue to work from home, pressuring the on-site foodservice at those facilities, IFMA says.
“We do expect that remote working will continue through 2022,” said Charlie McConnell, IFMA’s senior director, insights and best practices, in a recent webinar. “We don’t believe most offices are going to be back to pre-pandemic levels, maybe ever.”
Labor a major concern
Labor shortages are also a major concern for operators across the industry, McConnell says. While high employment levels—unemployment was estimated at about 3.6% in March—reflect a strong overall economy, finding enough workers to fill needed positions remains a challenge.
The ongoing sales pressures at many foodservice operations, combined with supply-chain challenges, ingredient-cost inflation, and the labor crunch, is tempering IFMA’s growth forecasts for the industry, particularly in on-site foodservice.
“Our projections would be more optimistic if the infrastructure that supports foodservice was back to normal, and it’s not,” says McConnell. “We don’t have enough people, and we are having a hard time getting products from A to B to Z. And until we’ve rectified those two situations, we are going to continue to see lagging growth.”
Need to respond to challenges
Foodservice operators need to respond to the challenges by rethinking how they do business to minimize costs and increase productivity. This could include revamping menus to streamline production, as well as investments in automation to bolster productivity and enhance critical functions such as food safety and sanitation.
Operators also need to consider solutions that facilitate onboarding, make employees more productive and make jobs more rewarding for employees in order to improve retention.
DayMark® Safety Systems’ MenuCommand® Kitchen Automation system featuring MenuPilot® can help operators tackle these challenges. Together, these provide a deeper understanding and improved management of back-of-the-house workflows, as well as overall food-labeling compliance.
MenuCommand by DayMark is a web-based portal that facilitates centralized management and communication of critical menu data, common tasks and training materials. It features intuitive applications for food labeling, task management and receiving, as well as temperature monitoring and food checks.
MenuPilot, the flagship application of the MenuCommand kitchen automation platform, is now available for both iOS and Android devices. With the MenuPilot app, foodservice operators can modify and monitor shelf life, nutritional facts, allergen information and prep data, virtually anytime and anywhere.
Managers using MenuCommand at the corporate level can perform these functions from a central location, ensuring consistency across multiple venues. It is ideal for managing food rotation, grab-and-go labeling, staff training and date code compliance, among other functionality.
The system also has user-friendly applications that facilitate operators’ ability to manage tasks and receive inventory. The Task Management application allows managers to monitor task activity and enables employees to document their progress on assignments. The Receiving Module, meanwhile, makes it easy to track received shipments, including non-conforming deliveries, at both the store and corporate levels.
Ensuring that foods are dated and labeled correctly is another critical element of foodservice operations. Many operators risk cross-contamination and bacterial buildup on tape residue by using masking tape instead of tools that were designed for the job.
DayMark’s labeling systems, including its Matt85™ and Matt77™ Direct Thermal Label hardware, provide solutions for operators seeking to ensure accurate, sanitary labeling practices. A variety of label types, adhesives and sizes, along with custom-printed labels, are available.
Combined, these features help foodservice operators save on training and labor costs, improve retention, enhance food safety and streamline kitchen operations. Visit DayMark Safety Systems to learn more.