For so many quick-service brands, the pandemic had something of an unexpected impact on sales: revenue went up. While restaurants with other business models had to shut down or try to emulate the limited-service model, quick-service restaurants saw unparalleled traffic at the drive-thru window, or via delivery, curbside and other off-premises channels.
The increase in business now has many quick-service executives thinking about growth. One thing that has made growth harder, though, is that operators across the country have encountered a familiar challenge that has been ramped up in recent months as dining rooms reopen: the pressing need to recruit, attract, and retain talent to help staff restaurants and ensure profitability.
“The industry is falling on desperate times when it comes to the challenges of labor,” says Neema Ardebili, Vice President of Global Franchise & Strategic Partnerships with ADP, a human resources company that processes the payroll for about one-in-six U.S. workers. “Some of the biggest fast-food chains are trying to run restaurants half-staffed, and that’s if they’re lucky. It was hard to staff a restaurant even before COVID, but now it’s as hard as ever.”
Ardebili and his team at ADP say that the solution to the restaurant labor crisis is for brands to have as much data as possible in order to help make better personnel and budget decisions when it comes to hiring and paying employees. As a human resources (HR) partner, ADP can provide aggregated and anonymized HR and payroll data from nearly 30 million workers in more than 740,000 organizations across North America via ADP® DataCloud, which helps to benchmark how a company compares to others in wages, overtime, turnover, benefits and much more.
The software also helps give insights into the demographics of workers in a given area and what their expectations might be. For example, a large quick-service brand that has a location in downtown Pittsburgh could use ADP’s technology to view benchmarking data of the surrounding area and provide real, measurable insights on how they compare to the rate of pay by job type, average turnover, overtime, unemployment, and more in similar industries.
If a company knows how it stacks up against others, it can identify if payroll is commensurate with competing employers, and potentially pivot towards offering creative benefits to win talent over its competitors, such as on-demand pay which grants early access to wages for employees. ADP partners with companies through ADP Marketplace to offer this popular solution that can help employers increase attraction and retention rates without increasing capital spending.
“The same way quick-service restaurants have evolved and upgraded technology to meet the consumers’ needs through COVID, employers have to do the same with their internal Human Capital Management systems,” says Lisa Skelly, vice president of franchise partnerships & strategy for global enterprise sales. “That might mean you are using data and analytics to understand how you compare to similar industries so that you can hire with confidence, or understanding factors that assist with retention, like being able to calculate turnover probability, pay equity, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more.”
Another way the data provided by ADP can help brands succeed is through its new Real Income data offering. This feature enables brands real-time, geo-specific and industry-level data to ensure as they expand, they are investing in a profitable market and aligned with the demographic that drives the highest amount of traffic and potential employee opportunity to their businesses. Companies can readily spot economic trends in a geographic space, assess employer-to-employee income flow with residential and commercial insights, and readily evaluate spending power, macro trends, and location comparisons.
ADP is more than a provider of software and intelligent data solutions. As Skelly and Ardebili put it, “we are a brand’s partner, we help employers grow their businesses and brands by giving them the tools that allow them to hire the right people and retain them long term.” ADP’s restaurant-specific solutions help with everything from AI-based applicant tracking, maximized tax credits, centralized timekeeping, digital pay, to HR tools that ensure domestic and global compliance.
“ADP has been in business for over 70 years,” says Ardebili. “We’re the most recognized human resources software company in the franchise space, a channel we’ve focused on for decades. Over 30,000 franchisees from over 90 quick-service brands trust us to serve their franchisee base. We’re here to help you grow your business, and we know how challenging that can be right now.”
To find out more about attracting and retaining talent, visit the ADP website.