How Venues are Using Tech to Solve Staff Shortages

Jun 9, 2021

This article is brought to you by Mr Yum, we hope you find this information relevant & useful.

Australia’s hospitality industry is undergoing a staff shortage crisis.

The continuing closure of international borders, an exodus of overseas workers and experienced staff leaving the industry during the past 15 months has left Australia’s world-renowned hospitality industry with thousands of vacant positions for chefs, wait staff, kitchen hands and venue managers.

Australian Venue Company is one company turning this current crisis into opportunities for young Australians to get their start in the industry. AVC has turned to innovative new technology for solutions to help it successfully weather the staffing storm.

Australian Venue Company CEO Paul Waterson says the company has been able to employ staff with little or no experience due to the group-wide implementation of Mr Yum, the world’s most powerful mobile ordering and payment system.

With Mr Yum, patrons scan a QR code at their table to order and pay for meals and drinks, which can be delivered by new staff. Experienced staff are then free to focus on making cocktails, pouring beers and providing a superior customer experience.

Unlike other QR code ordering systems, Mr Yum is completely web based, meaning there’s no app for a venue’s customers to download. It makes for a seamless, superior customer experience.

“Mr Yum’s been great for us,” Waterson says. “Employees can hit the ground running from their first shift, they can start to get used to the pace of working in a pub, and how it works and they can operate from day one. And then in time they can learn more about the venue and become more integrated.”

The company has taken on at least 200 staff new to hospitality across its venues this year. This is in addition to more than 300 apprenticeships starting since January, with the company currently adding 30 new apprentices a month – a rate 10 times higher than the company’s average.

Mr Yum CEO and Co-founder Kim Teo says QR code mobile ordering is a key development for the hospitality industry, one that delivers a superior customer experience. Removing the more transactional service interactions and replacing them with memorable ones creates an impressive bond between customer and venue.

“We believe people remember the banter, the jokes, the how was your day? All the conversations that don’t necessarily revolve around what would you like to have, here is the payment terminal,” she says.

“It’s about time shifting, about how staff spend their time. It’s not about spending less face time with customers, it’s about spending it in a more meaningful way.”

Waterson says implementing Mr Yum across its venues has allowed the company to segment its workforce, enabling experienced bartenders and floor staff to focus on providing superior customer service while beginners run food and drinks and clear tables.

He says it’s a misconception young people don’t want to work in the industry.

“We’ve shown with 200 of what we call Bamboo (untrained/novice) staff coming in, people are really keen to spend time in our industry, to see whether they want to make a career of it, and Mr Yum makes it less intimidating for them.”

He adds: “What we’re finding, people forgive a beer that’s a tiny bit too frothy, or someone can only carry two plates to the table, not three, if they’ve got a welcoming smile and a friendly attitude.”

He says another misconception is that mobile ordering and payment systems are impersonal.

“I find it’s the contrary. It frees up staff to have more verbal interactions with the patrons, to go back and do the second and third table check, to answer any questions about the menu while the customers are perusing it on their phone.

“In my mind, you don’t use Mr Yum to reduce labour costs, you use it to enhance patron experience and add value.”

Having previously worked in retail, Demi Van Der Host, 25, started as a food and beverage runner at The Duke of Wellington hotel in Melbourne’s CBD in March.

“Every job I applied for wanted people with experience, and I never heard back from anybody. When I saw the opportunity to apply for Bamboo, I took it. It’s an easy way to get your foot in the door, and it was great they provided the training I needed. They were very fast at getting me the job as soon as I finished the training, and management at The Duke have been really helpful with the transition. Overall, the whole experience has been wonderful.”

Waterson says there’s never been a better time to consider a hospitality career.

“The hairy-chest alpha male attitudes of the kitchen have gone, which is a positive, it’s great. People are starting to discover you can have your lifestyle and creative flair and you can have the best of both worlds. People can have a lifestyle, can have a family and flexibility,” he says.

“It’s probably the first time in a generation you might be able to say that for hospitality.”

To keep up to date with the foodservice industry and Hospitality Unites, subscribe here.

  • Get articles delivered to your inbox
  • Subscribe
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now