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Staff Shortages Hold Businesses Back, But Technology Can Help


With 63% of hospitality businesses saying that they’ve been affected by staff shortages, it’s becoming a major issue for the industry. 

Many businesses have been affected by COVID over the past 18 months, but none more so than hospitality. With lockdowns affecting how hospo businesses run, many employees have become frustrated with the industry, abandoning it altogether for a more stable career path. 

Plus, with the ongoing ‘pingdemic’ meaning that people are often forced to isolate, staff shortages are very common. However, technology has proved helpful as the sector rebuilds. With the option to operate with lowered staff numbers and still deliver exceptional service, mobile ordering technology is coming to the rescue.

Why are there staff shortages in the hospitality sector?

Industry bodies say one in five workers have left the sector during the coronavirus pandemic. As this stat shows, many staff shortages up and down the country are COVID-19 related, and we can expect things to return back to normal as the UK moves on from the pandemic. 

However, the staff shortages that the hospitality sector is experiencing can’t just be limited just to COVID, and businesses should look at all potential reasons in order to improve their staff retention and meet evolving employee needs.

Some of the key reasons that staff shortages have occurred are:


With COVID giving everyone time to think and reassess their career path, many people reskilled and changed professions following lockdowns. Working hours and income were unstable in hospitality, meaning that many people chose to turn their back on the sector altogether.


 Brexit and heavy restrictions on movement have forced many people working in the hospitality sector to return to their home countries. This has naturally led to staff shortages with 43 per cent of workers in the restaurant, QSR, hotel and pub sectors in the UK being foreign nationals.

Zero hour contracts

Zero hour contracts have been a recurring issue for some time, but the pandemic has made the issue of unstable income more obvious. Many workers have realised that they’re not happy on a 0 hour contract and want to change careers in order to take up a contract with more hours.

Low pay rates, lack of breaks and horrible customers

A recent NPR review states that the main reasons hospitality workers have quit their jobs are the low pay rates, lack of breaks and horrible customers. With pay rates dropping due to COVID-19, many people are quitting the industry altogether.

While technology can’t necessarily stop any of those bug bears, it can make things easier for management to make changes. With less staff needed to take orders and less socialising with the customer, mobile ordering apps can make the job of a waiter much more enjoyable.

The ‘Pingdemic’ 

Last but not least, the ‘pingdemic’, as it is being dubbed, is causing all kinds of issues within hospitality. With many people being pinged and told to self isolate, staff members have no choice but to miss shifts and leave their team short staffed. What’s worse, often when one person in a team is pinged, they will have mingled with other staff members, meaning that 4 or 5 members of a team can be cut in one go.

How is technology helping ease staff shortages?

While technology can’t solve all of our problems, it certainly can solve some. Here’s some of the top ways that tech is easing staff shortages and helping businesses keep going...

Yoello increases table turnover by up to 40% 

Mobile ordering technology can increase table turnover by up to 40%. This means more people through the door, more food and drink sold, and ultimately more profit. 

While it increases table turnover, it doesn’t necessarily require more staff. This means that business can run as usual without the extra hands that would otherwise be needed.

Yoello can double the speed of which staff can serve customers

This is a win for both business and staff. With staff who often feel overworked and underpaid, having to do less work on a shift is a blessing. 

With the help of mobile ordering, staff can get food and drinks to their customers quickly and easily with minimal room for error. When you’re short staffed, having a mobile ordering system that serves people in half the time is a blessing.

Reducing the number of touchpoints during service

By removing the need to actually go and take the customer’s order, technology is enabling waiters to minimise touch points with customers. Not only is this a great win from a safety perspective, it also means that there is less work for the wait staff and less room for error when taking orders. 

This helps to improve staff satisfaction and essentially makes their job easier. In turn, this has the potential to boost staff satisfaction and minimise staff turnover.

Self service means less staff are needed 

We often refer to Yoello as an 'invisible waiter' offering much of what wait staff do but through a digital, self-served format. With the helping hand of a mobile ordering system, businesses can ensure that they keep thriving despite staff shortages.

Need help with Mobile Ordering? Look to Yoello

Yoello is an award winning mobile ordering platform that has helped plenty of businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Reach out for more information and get mobile ordering set up in your venue today!

Georgia Coombs
August 27, 2021

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