A new technology ecosystem can help with restaurants’ most pressing needs.

This time two years ago, the restaurant industry was grappling with a labor shortage spurred by minimum wage hikes and a bull market. The current labor shortage has different origins—here’s looking at you, COVID-19—but the end result is the same: restaurants are having a hard time attracting and retaining employees.

Operators continue to navigate staffing issues amid the many operational challenges brought about by the pandemic. To entice potential employees to come on board, operators are getting creative with sign-on and referral bonuses, free food, 401Ks, paid family leave, and even free college tuition.

The reality, however, is that restaurants need to think long-term when it comes to staffing. Bonuses and other perks may get employees in the door—it’s keeping them there that’s the challenge. One way for operators to help reduce turnover in the back-of-house is to create a better, more streamlined work environment for their employees. In the back-of-house, this means modernizing the kitchen, including operational processes and procedures.

“With all the job openings out there, it’s difficult to attract back-of-house employees to a kitchen with antiquated paper-based, manual systems,” says Bart Shuldman, CEO of TransAct Technologies. “Without technology, the job itself is not very attractive, requires unnecessary labor, and leaves room for food safety errors and omissions.”

That’s because restaurant managers continue to rely on paper forms to manage and record the completion of operational processes. Everything from handwriting date code and food freshness labels to recording that a restroom has been cleaned on a clipboard with a dangling pen tied to the clamp. Often, these clipboards hung on doors in unsanitary locations like the bathroom and dish pit, leaving them splattered with food, grease, and liquids. In addition to being unsightly and messy, this system is ripe for errors. Employees may forget to record tasks in a timely manner, or worse yet, skip them altogether and simply sign off that it has been done. Additionally, when technology has been deployed by operators, they have had to use separate systems for checklists, labeling tasks, refrigeration equipment monitoring, inventory, and food recall.

“There have always been one-offs—companies that can do one task, such as labeling or temperature taking or checklists or task lists—but nothing that works together, delivered by one company in one cohesive system.” Shuldman says. “It’s costly, cumbersome, and frustrating to restaurant operators and management.”

TransAct’s new BOHA! Restaurant Operations Platform features intuitive Apple iOS technology and improves restaurant operations in four key areas: employee and customer health and safety, food safety and HACCP processes, food quality and brand standards, and FDA nutritional compliance. Under these umbrellas, the system helps operators regulate and record the mundane yet necessary tasks inside a restaurant and allows operators to access data and gain a holistic view of operations from anywhere in the world, in real time.

Here’s one example of how BOHA! works: Label making is a time consuming process that is highly susceptible to mistakes. Cooks prepare food items for the day and date them using masking tape and permanent markers—but messy handwriting, moisture, and spills can make handwritten labels difficult to read, resulting in food spoilage and waste. BOHA! Labeling is clean and consistent, resulting in crisp and clear food labeling that enables restaurants to always serve food that’s safe.

BOHA! Sense can save operators money by sending an alert when a freezer or walk-in cooler gets too warm; BOHA! Temp ensures proper cook times and consistency; BOHA! Timer alerts staff when it’s time to perform make line upkeep; and BOHA! Checklist helps management keep track of all the miscellaneous tasks that need to be performed inside the restaurant, such as restroom cleaning and trash runs.

The best part, though, is that all of these parts add up to one brilliant sum: They work together to create a single ecosystem, through a single portal, that gives operators unprecedented insight into back-of-house operations.

“With the BOHA! system, quick-serve operators—including the C-suite in franchising scenarios—can access metrics and business intelligence reports from any web browser and view data in real time,” Shuldman says. “They have one portal where they can see all of their back-of-house functions, when they were performed, and by whom.”

As operators continue to search for ways to streamline operations, TransAct’s BOHA! Restaurant Operations Platform offers an easy-to-use labor saving solution that can revolutionize back-of-house operations.

“BOHA! can help reduce labor costs, makes training easy and efficient, improves employee and operational performance, and enhance the customer experience—across all a brand’s locations,” Shuldman says.

To learn more about how to streamline your back-of-house operations, visit the Transact website.

By Davina van Buren

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