Staffing crisis “damaging” customer experience in QSR

59% of team members also admitted that customer experience is suffering in their venue due to lack of staff.

The ongoing staffing shortage across quick-service restaurants is damaging the customer experience, with cracks beginning to show, according to new consumer and hospitality staff research by KAM Media for pointOne.

In their survey of 500 QSR customers and 100 frontline staff, nearly 2-in-3 customers had noticed venues they have visited being short-staffed over the last 3 months and 1-in-5 said they had waited longer to be seated and served than normal.

59% of team members also admitted that customer experience is suffering in their venue due to lack of staff, with the research suggesting that the “knock-on effect” of shortages is also leading to an overload of work on existing staff and subsequent stress and dissatisfaction. 64% of those interviewed said that working in hospitality is “less enjoyable” now than it was pre-pandemic.

64% also said that venues embracing time-saving technologies would improve their job satisfaction, with 94% of them confident that technology can help them do their job.

Blake Gladman, Strategy &Insights Director at KAM said: “Given current staff shortages, tight budgets and supply chain issues, the pressure is really on for operators to ensure that their staff have the time and space in which to ‘look after’ the fundamental customer demands and consistently deliver the experience their customers expect. 

“Staff obviously only have a finite amount of time so it’s critical they are focused on the areas which will deliver the greatest return. Quality and relevant training, great leadership, and company culture as well as emerging technology are all critical enablers here,” said Blake Gladman, KAM Media strategy and insights director.

Steve Rolfe, founder at pointOne, added: “As we emerge out of this pandemic with the latest pressures of staff shortages, it may not feel like the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ moment we were looking for, but this could be a timely fork in the road for many operators. It offers a fantastic opportunity to completely re-evaluate their operation and implement automation tools that can free up employees’ time for the part of the job they really love, which is giving the customer a great experience.”

(The research commissioned by pointOne has been published in a white paper, People + Tech: A New Era of Customer Experience in QSR. Click here to download.)

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